132 countries attend 4th Global meet on criminal finances

Representatives discuss cross-sector solutions against the criminal use of cryptocurrencies

Over 2,000 representatives from 132 countries attended the virtual 4th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies organised by the Interpol, Europol and the Basel Institute on Governance from November 18 to 19.

“Representatives from law enforcement and the judiciary, Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), international organisations and the private sector have met virtually to shape international cross-sector solutions against the criminal use of cryptocurrencies,” said the Interpol.

The conference is an initiative of the Working Group on Cryptocurrencies and Money Laundering established in 2016 by the three organisations, launched with an objective of strengthening knowledge, expertise and best practices for investigations into financial crimes and intelligence on virtual assets and cryptocurrencies.

“Recent increases in the number and quality of investigations in the field of cryptocurrency-facilitated crime and subsequent money laundering means that law enforcement and other public entities are continuing to enhance their level of knowledge and expertise in this crime area. In this regard, the conference served as an opportunity to underline the need for countries and jurisdictions to increase the exchange of tactical information and best practices, so that lessons learnt by one entity can be useful to others,” it said.

The conference underlined the need to expand capabilities on ways to probe virtual assets and regulate virtual asset service providers to prevent money laundering.

“A multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach involving both the private and public sectors is key to tackling criminal finances and the misuse of cryptocurrencies. By combining the expertise and data on financial crime held by the private sector with the investigative capabilities of law enforcement, we can enhance our collective capabilities and scale up efforts against criminal finances,” said Ilana de Wild, Interpol’s director of organised and emerging crime.

The conference’s agenda included trends and investigations on cryptocurrency related offences, exploring criminal flows and operations in the dark markets, ransomware and sextortion case studies, money laundering involving virtual assets, and the transfer of drug proceeds using cryptocurrencies.

The participants endorsed the recommendations on capacity building measures on ways to probe virtual assets, establishing clear regulatory framework to prevent money laundering, adopting ‘follow the money’ strategies against criminal proceeds, strengthening information exchange to dismantle criminal networks, and exploiting new technologies in criminal finances investigations, said the Interpol.

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