Interpol is Planning a Dedicated Crypto Crimes Unit in Singapore

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: CNA

The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, is gearing up to strengthen its crypto crime-fighting skills. According to reports, Interpol has set up a special unit in Singapore to aid governments with crimes involving virtual assets.

The announcement was made ahead of Interpol’s 90th General Assembly in New Delhi, India. The event will be held from October 18th, till October 21st. Moreover, high-ranking police officials from 195 member states of Interpol will be in attendance.

Jürgen Stock, the secretary general (SG) of Interpol, claimed that the absence of a regulatory framework for crypto assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) presents significant difficulties for law enforcement organizations. Stock further added that agencies are often not equipped to deal with crimes related to crypto.

Stock stated,

“Huge developments in technology, internet of everything and digitalization – because of cryptocurrency – pose a challenge to law enforcement, because very often, they (agencies) are not properly trained and properly equipped from the beginning.”

The Interpol SG also noted that the key topics on the agenda for Interpol’s general assembly in India will be cryptocurrencies and cybercrime.

Global agencies are stepping it up against crypto crimes

According to a Chainalysis report, over $2 billion was lost to hacks and exploits, in the first half of this year. Additionally, the aspect of agencies not being equipped was recently highlighted in the same report. As per the study, 74% of agencies felt that they were not well-equipped and trained for cryptocurrency-related crimes. The report noted the need for additional training and equipment in order to properly investigate such crimes.

Now, the idea of distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies is relatively new. It is not surprising that law agencies are struggling to keep up with the latest innovation, as they happen ever so quickly. However, the law always does a good job of catching up. Tornado Cash, a popular crypto mixer, was recently shut down due to illicit players using its services.

Recently Interpol issued a worldwide arrest warrant for Terra chief, Do Kwon. Nonetheless, authorities are yet to apprehend Kwon, who is still free.