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Law enforcement and crypto crime

Taking place this week, the National Proceeds of Crime Conference will look at law enforcement in the face of global digitisation, the rise of crypto currencies, and the impact both might have on the ability of law enforcement agencies to track financial crime.

The Conference, themed ‘Rethinking Law Enforcement: efforts to address the globalisation and digitisation of the criminal economy’, will be led by the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce.

“Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications, have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets,” AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said, in an official message this week.

“Seizing and removing the profits of crime is one of the most effective capabilities we have in impacting organised criminal networks.”

This Conference follows the last week’s release by the Australian Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) of their statistics on information shared in the now three-year-old Fintel Alliance, the remit of which aims to help protect the Australian financial system from financial crime.

Regulating DCEs

Earlier this year, AUSTRAC announced that, just one year after digital currency exchanges were encompassed by anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing laws, the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce have restrained $2 million in assets relating to such crimes.

At the time of the announcement, AUSTRAC National Manager for Regulatory Operations, Dr Nathan Newman, said, “Digital currency exchange providers have had adequate time and opportunity to comply with these new laws and AUSTRAC has already refused the registration of two digital currency exchange providers. We continue to actively monitor the sector’s compliance.”

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