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The separation between “traditional” and “crypto” organised crime and money laundering is increasingly unhelpful. Specialised crypto expertise remains essential for both law enforcement and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance teams in the private sector. This is in part due to the highly technical nature and fast evolution of blockchain-based technologies. But recent trends in criminal activity and the use of cryptocurrencies to launder money show how the two worlds are merging.
Efforts to combat such crimes in both the public and private sectors need to do the same.
Existing financial crime laws can be (and are being) applied to prosecute crimes and money laundering involving crypto assets and to recover illicit funds. Legislators can make it easier for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges to deal with cases involving crypto assets by considering these when developing new financial crime laws or revising existing legislation.
It is essential that crypto assets are treated like any other asset for the purposes of AML/CFT supervision and enforcement.
The blockchain technology that forms the backbone of crypto assets and services offers numerous opportunities to investigate crime and money laundering schemes, gather intelligence, and freeze and confiscate illicit assets.
Increasing general understanding of crypto assets and services is vital to tackle organised crime and money laundering, both physical and virtual. Finding smart ways to communicate about crypto also pays off.
Public entities, including law enforcement bodies, can gain significantly by harnessing the tools, data and analytics expertise of the private sector. Closer cooperation with crypto asset service providers can also speed up law enforcement requests to assist investigations and freeze funds.
Selected by Virginie GASTINE MENOU
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