Due to an increase in “crypto” money laundering incidents, Australian police have formed a Digital Assets Unit

A new division of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has been created to tackle crimes involving digital assets.

The new organization is in line with other global trends as more regulators pay attention to this growing sector. A former police officer was recently hired by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to lead its brand new digital assets department, which will begin operations in October. The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, led by veteran prosecutor Eun Young Choi, was established by the FBI earlier this year.

Over the years, AFP has toughened up offenses related to digital money laundering. However, Stefan Jerga, AFP’s Criminal Assets Seizure Commander, told the Australian Financial Review that these actions were not coordinated by a single organization, which would have increased their effectiveness.

Additionally, the SEC doubled the staff of its Crypto Assets and Cyber ​​Unit and revamped and renamed it.

“It targets assets, but also gives those essential investigative tracing capabilities and purpose for all of our commands across all of our businesses, whether it’s national security, child protection, cybersecurity or the ability to trace cryptocurrency transactions across the various blockchains,” he said.

According to Jerga, the new Australian team will focus on seizing illegal assets, but will also be heavily involved in other related investigations.

Over A$600 million has been confiscated by AFP’s Criminal Asset Seizure Unit since February 2020, exceeding expectations. AFP is not taking any risks even though only a small percentage of this was tied to digital assets.

AUSTRAC’s Executive Vice President recently said that criminals are using digital assets to launder money, and now the new organization has just been launched.

According to data from Chainalysis, illegal activity accounts for 0.15% of total global trading volume, according to John Moss. This was four times the share of transactions related to criminal activity in the four largest banks, which was 0.035%. Although proportionately smaller, the banks’ stake is actually much larger given Australia’s GDP of $1.8 trillion.

Summary of news:

  • Due to an increase in “crypto” money laundering incidents, Australian police have formed a Digital Assets Unit
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