The number of criminals using cryptocurrencies to hide fraudulent funds is increasing. According to Chainalysis’s 2022 CryptoCrime Report, cybercriminals laundered $ 8.6 billion worth of crypto in 2021, up 30% from the previous year. Fortunately, law enforcement agencies are aware of these activities. Some countries are turning to blockchain-based technology to outperform criminals who are proficient in these technologies and crack down on their operations.
For example, today, Spanish police have officially announced that they will use the funds to deploy blockchain-based cryptographic surveillance technology to tackle the increasing drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar. They claim that cryptography is rampant to fund drug transactions in these waters connecting Spain with Morocco and Gibraltar.
The Spanish army has spent $ 115,000 acquiring two blockchain analysis tools to help identify suspicious transactions. Police officials say the increasing use of cryptography in funding these illegal activities makes it difficult to track payment routes. This is because cryptocurrencies allow criminals to remain anonymous during a transaction.
The Interior Ministry also commented on the issue, saying it firmly believes in constantly upgrading its monitoring tools and the technical systems that support them. Many believe this may indicate further spending on domestic cryptographic surveillance systems.
Cryptocurrencies are beginning to attract the attention of law enforcement authorities around the world. Central banks and governments have long explicitly called for these threats. In February 2022, Bank of Spain Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos emphasized the need for increased oversight of crypto transactions. One of the concerns he cited at the time was “risks arising from the possibility of using crypto assets for illegal activities, including money laundering.”
Around the same time, the FBI also announced the launch of a new crypto crime unit. Known as the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET), this new task force conducts its own blockchain analysis to track and seize assets involved in cryptocurrency crimes. According to an official press release, the team will also focus on ransomware, crypto mixers, tumblers, and other infrastructure that may enable “criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies.”
A month later, at the World Police Summit, the UAE’s Dubai Police Cybercrime Unit announced that it would use blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to identify criminal activity.
“Technology is changing the world and police are part of this change. We are continually looking for the latest technology to overcome crime. Cryptocurrencies are used for money laundering and crime. Because of this, the Dubai police are the Ministry of Interior. ” Brigadier General Saleh al-Hamlani, Deputy Director of the Dubai Police and Entrepreneurial Spirit, said.
He added that AI will also help police predict and predict future events and outcomes. “We are working on next-generation AI technology to anticipate the risks we face and prepare internally and externally. Leverage artificial intelligence, blockchain, and predictive capabilities to prepare police, respond and recover. Build a solid foundation for improving time. “