Europol and Interpol take action against money laundering

Europol and Interpol take action against money laundering

A two-day workshop in the Swiss city of Basel has included over 60 financial investigators to come up with a range of measures to combat the use of cryptocurrency for money laundering and terrorist financing. The event attracted 60 financial investigation specialists from around the world.

Financial investigators discuss regulations of the cryptocurrency

The recent workshop was hosted by the Basel Institute of Governance and was organized in partnership with Europol and Interpol. The event was attended by more than 60 “financial investigators from money laundering, cyber crime and financial intelligence units in 32 different countries”, alongside relevant private sector representatives.

The lab has produced agreements between participating institutions, designed to curb the “criminal use of cryptocurrency by criminals and terrorist financiers to launder money and support other criminal activities.” More specifically, the measures agreed upon include:

Enhance “information sharing in money laundering and digital coins by using channels such as Europol, Interpol, Egmont Group and

Regulation of “digital currency exchanges and wallet providers, according to current laws against money laundering legislation against terrorist financing.

Agreements on “clear definitions of concepts such as digital coins, currency exchanges, wallet providers and mixers to be incorporated into the legal structures of the European Union.”

Taking action against mixers and tumblers, made anonymous for transactions that make police work harder to detect and track suspicious transactions.

Europol claims that digital coins are used in criminal activities, including terrorism
In the statement issued after the event, Europol said the adoption of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes, including terrorist financing, is on the rise. To combat the alleged threat, Europol announced that it “will continue to co-ordinate with EU Member States and beyond, in order to respond appropriately to this threat.”

The Europol Communiqué comes just a few weeks after a law bill was introduced at the American Congress that proposes the creation of a supervisory body to research and develop policies and combat terrorism financing by using cryptocurrency.

Exaggerated fears

Fears about the use of digital coins by terrorist groups seem to have motivated the publication of a report by the Foundation for the Protection of Democracy, which claims to have identified four cases where groups associated with terrorists have requested donations in bitcoin.

The author of the report, Yaya Fanusie, attributed the issue of “the bitcoin received in the press,” saying that this has made certain groups to study technology more closely. Fanusie added: “In general, it seems that these campaigns have not been very successful, for the most part.”

Recently published research by Elliptic also indicates that bitcoin transactions associated with illegal activities have fallen by 40% compared to 2013, estimating that shifts in illicit activities make up only 0.61% of all transactions. In October 2017, a report commissioned by the British government concluded that digital coins raise “small” terrorist financing risks and that it is “unlikely to grow” over the next five years.

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