Criminals hide billions in crypto cash Europol

The agency’s director told the BBC Panorama that regulators and industry leaders must work together to address the problem. The warning comes after Bitcoin’s value fell by half from all-time highs in December.

UK police have not commented on the show. Wainwright said that Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, estimates that around 3-4% of the ¬£ 100 billion in illicit revenue in Europe is laundered through cryptocurrencies. It’s growing pretty fast and we’re pretty worried, he said. Bitcoin’s energy use in Iceland to overtake households There are many different types of cryptocurrencies.

However, unlike traditional currencies, they are not printed by, nor controlled or regulated by, governments and traditional banks. The anonymous and unregulated nature of virtual currencies is attracting criminals, making it difficult for police to track them down as it is difficult to identify who they are. is moving payments. but the best known is Bitcoin. They are intended to be a digital alternative to pounds, dollars, or euros.

Wainwright said They are not banks and are governed by a central authority, so the police cannot control those transactions. And if they are identified as criminals, they have no way of freezing assets unlike the normal banking system Another problem that Europol has identified has to do with the method that criminals use to launder money. These money mules convert the bitcoins back into cash before returning them to the criminals.

Proceeds from criminal activity are converted into bitcoins, divided into smaller amounts, and given to people who are apparently not associated with the criminals, but who act as “money mules. It is very difficult for the police in most cases to identify who is collecting this,” Wainwright said. He said police were also seeing a trend where money in the billions generated from street drug sales across Europe is being converted into bitcoins.

He asked those who run the Bitcoin industries to work with the enforcement agencies. They have to take responsible action and cooperate with us when we investigate large-scale crimes he said. I think they also have to develop a better sense of responsibility for how they are running the virtual currency. Although British police have yet to respond to Panorama’s requests, Parliament is trying to tighten regulations.

The Treasury Selection Committee is investigating cryptocurrencies and the details of regulations across the EU to force traders to reveal identities and any suspicious activity is expected later this year Alison McGovern a Labor MP from Wirral South who sits on the committee has called for an investigation into cryptocurrencies. I think she will bring the attention of the Treasury and the Bank  and others to how we implement a regulatory system she said.

 

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