Increasing Crypto Crimes Forced Australia To Set Up Dedicated Police Unit
Crypto crimes have become a primary concern since digital assets grew up in recent years. Seeing the current market volatility and risks involved in cryptocurrencies, U.S. Fed has adopted a hawkish approach to fighting market inflation. On the other hand, Australia is attempting to deal with the issue by setting up a crypto-focused police unit.
In line with the country’s major business outlet, Financial Review, the state’s law enforcement agency, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), has set up a new unit to encounter the bad actors bypassing the financial system for money laundering and other illegal operations using crypto.
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The Chief at AFP’s command for freezing criminals’ assets, Stefan Jerga, who currently has the power to confiscate an asset, highlighted that a fastly increasing number of crypto crimes had pushed the authority to set up a dedicated police unit for cryptocurrencies.
Citing the AFP’s seizure of 2018 to indicate the uptick of crypto crimes in the last few years, he explained that officers with few skills to handle an overall case were insufficient. So a unique team gets authorized to tackle that issue in August 2022, which will continue to grow with time.
“It’s targeting assets, but it’s also providing that valuable, investigative tracing capability and lens for all of our commands across all of our businesses, whether they’re national security-related, child protection, cyber – or the ability to trace cryptocurrency transactions across the relevant blockchains is really, really important.”
Criminal asset confiscation command at AFP, founded by Commissioner Reece Kershaw in 2020, reached its target of confiscating $600 million two years before the estimated date of ending 2024.
Mr. Jerga said the task force had not required power to seize traditional assets like criminals’ properties, cash, etc. Still, the team restrained more than expected with limited authority. And the task force’s main goal was to gather insights into the technological process to understand the environment for crypto crimes.
AFP Was Preparing Itself To Tackle Crypto Crimes
Similarly, Deputy Commissioner Investigations, Ian McCartney, affirmed that the workforce has been preparing to fight against crypto crimes with a deep understanding of the nascent digital assets.
Mr. McCartney added;
“The criminal environment today is highly complex and requires an agile and far-reaching response from law enforcement. This strategy, which is delivering a maximum impact on the criminal environment, is despised by organised crime.”
In August, Australian Treasury Authority and Financial Service Ministry launched a joint research program on cryptocurrency. The government stepped up for this move after considering the local and businesses’ interest in cryptocurrency and developments in the future.
Related Reading: Australian Authorities To Initiate Cryptocurrency Research Program
The research dubbed “Digital Cooperative Research Program (DCRP)” will explore insights into the industry to prepare the state for digital developments in the future and secure users from vulnerabilities.
At this time, cryptocurrency service providers such as exchanges are liable to submit reports of suspected nodes in the network.
Featured image from Pixabay and chart from TradingView.com