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Five US Enforcement Agencies to Form New Digital Currency Anti-Crime Task Force

In this post:

  • Five US enforcement agencies have officially formed the Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force to combat crimes involving the darknet and digital currencies, such as drug trafficking and money laundering.
  • The task force aims to disrupt criminal organizations that exploit the anonymity of the darknet and utilize digital currencies for illegal activities. It has an international reach through Homeland Security Investigations’ global network.

In a significant development in the fight against crimes related to the darknet and digital currency, five diverse United States enforcement agencies have officially established the Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force. With a shared mission to combat cryptocurrency-enabled crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering, theft of personal information, and child exploitation, these agencies aim to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations that exploit the anonymity offered by the darknet and digital currencies.

Task Force Formation and Objectives

The Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force brings together representatives from several enforcement agencies, including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Arizona, the Office for U.S. Attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Postal Inspection Service. Although these agencies have been collaborating since 2017, the establishment of the task force formalizes their joint efforts and signifies a commitment to ramp up their activities.

The primary objective of the task force is to target criminal organizations that exploit the perceived anonymity of the darknet and leverage digital currencies to facilitate illegal activities. By focusing on key areas such as drug trafficking, money laundering, theft of personal information, and child exploitation, the task force aims to disrupt the operations of these criminal entities and bring them to justice.

International Reach and Collaborative Efforts

The formation of specialized units and task forces dedicated to combating cryptocurrency-related crimes is a growing trend in law enforcement worldwide. Last year, Interpol established a crypto crimes unit, while Canadian cities began forming local task forces. The Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force is not limited to the United States but has an international reach. This is made possible through Homeland Security Investigations’ extensive global network of 93 overseas locations across 56 countries.

Moreover, within the United States, other agencies have also taken proactive steps to address the challenges posed by digital currencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation created a Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit earlier this year, which collaborates with the Justice Department’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission has significantly expanded its Cyber Unit to address the evolving landscape of cybercrimes, including those involving cryptocurrencies.

Tackling Crypto-Related Crimes and the Way Forward

The task force’s formation is timely, considering the growing prevalence of cryptocurrency-related crimes. According to Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company, over 4,000 crypto whales were found to hold funds obtained through illegal means. Furthermore, crypto phishing attacks surged by 40% in the past year. These statistics highlight the urgent need for enhanced law enforcement efforts to counter such criminal activities.

Fortunately, there are indications that law enforcement actions are yielding positive results. By collaborating across agencies and leveraging advanced technologies and investigative techniques, authorities have successfully disrupted criminal operations, seized illicitly obtained funds, and apprehended offenders. The joint efforts of the Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force will further bolster these ongoing efforts, ensuring a coordinated and targeted approach to combating cryptocurrency-enabled crimes.

Conclusion

The establishment of the Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force represents a significant milestone in the fight against crimes involving the darknet and digital currencies. With the joint efforts of five prominent US enforcement agencies, this task force aims to disrupt criminal organizations, and combat drug trafficking, money laundering, personal information theft, and child exploitation facilitated by cryptocurrencies. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Ryan Salame
Cryptopolitan
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