Interpol sets up a specialized unit to crack down on illegal digital asset activities

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has created a unit dedicated to fighting virtual asset crime around the world after a series of attacks rocked the industry.

Interpol revealed this during a press conference in preparation for its 90th general meeting scheduled for October 19-21 in Delhi, India. The meeting will bring together high-ranking police chiefs from its 195 member countries, with virtual currency policing being a central topic of discussions.

“The huge developments in technology, the universal internet and digitization – because of cryptocurrency – pose a challenge to law enforcement, because very often they (the agencies) are not properly trained and properly equipped from the start,” said Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol. .

The decentralized nature of digital assets and their ability to circumvent existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations has been a headache for law enforcement around the world. whole world. Additionally, the use of decentralized exchanges and mixers has compounded the problems for security teams in their attempts to hunt down bad actors.

Praveen Sinha, special director of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, noted that the way around the current Interpol debacle is through “international cooperation, coordination, trust and real-time information sharing.” . To this end, a dedicated working group comprised of member countries will be formed to monitor the virtual asset industry from a global perspective.

Interpol has already entered the ecosystem in the hunt for digital asset fugitives with the publication of a “red notice” against the founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon. Interpol was also involved in the massive manhunt for Ignatova Rajatova, founder of OneCoin who defrauded billions of dollars from investors between 2015 and 2017.

The international law enforcement agency has also partnered with cybersecurity firm Trend Micro to quell hacker activity in Southeast Asia and has undertaken research with S2W Lab to track virtual asset activity on the dark web. .

Other jurisdictions are setting up specialized structures to regulate virtual currencies

Regulators around the world are realizing that dedicated teams can be essential to understanding and controlling the digital asset industry. For example, in the United States, the Department of Justice (DOJ) set up a new team known as the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) and appointed Eun Young Choi as its first director.

“NCET will serve as a focal point for the department’s efforts to combat the growth of crime involving these technologies,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the DOJ’s Criminal Division.

To understand the ground, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it will increase the size of the new Crypto Assets and Cyber ​​​​Unit to 50 dedicated positions, which, according to the president of SEC Gary Gensler will equip the Commission to “polish out wrongdoing in the crypto markets.

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