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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cybercrime, police work and storytelling in West Africa
Author:Beek, JanISNI
Year:2016
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Volume:86
Issue:2
Pages:305-323
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:crime
Internet
storytelling
police
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972016000061
Abstract:In West Africa, both cyber fraud and cyber policing are mainly about storytelling. Based on fieldwork in the Ghanaian police, this article explores criminal investigations of email scams; it shows how actors rely on, make use of, lose faith in and reinvent stories. Each cyber fraud case can be understood as a series of connected tales, and all involved try to change the direction of the narrative. While the first tale takes place in virtual spaces between continents, the later ones are located in Ghana and are about police work there. The actors' stories both tap into and create social imaginaries, and the involved actors thereby craft conflicting notions of order and disorder. However, not only the fraudsters' stories but also the police officers' and victims' stories are often factually inaccurate and are partly fictional. Ultimately, all actor groups struggle to create believable stories under current conditions. Bibliogr., notes, ref., summary in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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