After Doha (Qatar), Basel (Switzerland) and The Hague (the Netherlands), the fourth edition of the Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies took place online on 18 and 19 November. INTERPOL hosted this year’s conference, which gathered over 2 000 participants from law enforcement and judicial authorities, financial intelligence units, international organisations and the private sector.

Trends and investigations in the crime involving cryptocurrency, trends and evolution of the dark markets, use of cryptocurrencies in ransomware attacks, anti-money-laundering global compliance efforts and detecting money laundering activities in cryptocurrency flows were among the topics discussed during the first day of the conference. On the second day, which was restricted for representatives from national authorities, experts presented recent case examples to exchange knowledge and best practices on investigations related to cryptocurrency facilitated crime and subsequent money-laundering activities. This conference is an initiative of the tri-party working group on cryptocurrencies and criminal finances established in 2016 by Europol, INTERPOL and the Basel Institute on Governance to build a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise between cybercrime experts and financial investigators.

The cooperation and knowledge sharing between national law enforcement authorities, supported by the private sector, has certainly increased the effectiveness of investigations on cryptocurrency-facilitated crime. Experts have concluded, however, that further information exchange will increase the success rates of the investigations. The conference led to key recommendations on how to solidify a strong response to this criminal threat.

Key recommendations

– Adopt tools to extend capabilities on how to investigate Virtual Assets
– Apply rules to regulate Virtual Asset Service Providers to prevent money laundering
– Apply the strategy to “Follow the Money”
– Strengthen international cooperation
– Adopt a multidisciplinary approach
– Promote new technologies applied to the financial investigation on Virtual Assets
– Adapt investigation strategies

p/o Virginie Gastine Menou

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