On the 9th of September 2016 the Europol, Interpol and the Basel Institute of Governance (BIG) have formalized the establishment of a tripartite partnership for a working group against money laundering with virtual currencies.
According to the announcement of Europol, the main objective of the collaboration is to:
– gather, analyse, and exchange non-operational information regarding the use of digital currencies as a means of money laundering, and the investigation and recovery of proceeds of crime stored in the same form;
– organise annual workshops and meetings for the representatives of the above mentioned Law Enforcement Agencies and institutions to increase the capacity to successfully investigate crimes in which virtual currencies are involved;
– create a network of practitioners and experts in this field, who can collectively establish best practices and provide assistance and recommendations inside and outside the working group;
The reason for the establishment of the working group is that digital currencies pose a money laundering and terrorism financing threat. A small number of cases have already shown that money laundering and terrorism financing can easily take place in virtual environments because of the high level of anonymity and low levels of detection.