Australian Federal Police Forms Cryptocurrency Unit to Tackle Money Laundering, Offshoring: Report
The unit was set up after the force's criminal asset confiscation command had seized more than $600 million from the proceeds of crime since its inception in February 2020.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) formed a unit to tackle the use of cryptocurrency as a means of money laundering and offshoring, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported Monday.
The unit was set up after the force's criminal asset confiscation command beat its 2024 target of seizing $600 million from the proceeds of crime by two years. The command was formed in February 2020.
Stefan Jerga, who heads the new unit, said the use of crypto in crime had increased significantly in recent years, and now required a standalone team.
“It’s targeting assets, but it’s also providing that valuable, investigative tracing capability and lens for all of our commands across all of our businesses, whether they’re national security-related, child protection, cyber – or the ability to trace cryptocurrency transactions across the relevant blockchains is really, really important," Jerga said, according to the report.
AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said that while the amount of cryptocurrency seized was small relative to cash and property, a focus on crypto provided benefits through great intelligence insights into the business models of organized crime.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.