Law enforcement agencies from multiple countries, government agencies, and representatives of the private industry have convened this week for the first ‘Global Conference on Money Laundering and Digital Currencies; in Doha, Qatar. The focus of the conference is to discuss the threat of exploiting digital currencies for money laundering and terrorism financing.
The three-day event began took place earlier this week (16-18 January). Organizers include the likes of international law enforcement agencies INTERPOL and Europol; the Basel Institute of Governance (a Swiss think tank) and; the Qatar National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee, an extension of Qatar’s central bank.
Altogether, some 400 participants from law enforcement agencies and the private industry in 60 countries are said to be participating in the conference. The media release points toward discussing a collaborative, unified approach across the world to combat and curb crimes associated with digital currencies.
INTERPOL director of Police Service Tim Morris underlined the importance of the global approach as a means to ensure that digital currencies are not abused by criminal enterprises.
Digital currencies are not constrained by national regulations or borders, therefore cooperation in fighting against criminal uses of digital currencies must also transcend borders and integrate solutions from both law enforcement and private sector.
The inaugural conference is the first event gathering stemming from the establishment of a working group in September 2016 between Europol and INTERPOL, tasked specifically toward combating money laundering with digital currencies. Organizing annual workshops & meetings of representatives from law enforcement agencies around the world is one of the working group’s primary objectives.
In a quote reported by local publication The Peninsula , Sheikh Fahad bin Faisal Al Thani, chair of the country’s AML committee who inaugurated the conference, stated:
We expect from this conference to contribute in enhancing the capacity of the relevant competent authorities in conducting investigations in any crimes related to virtual currencies; and in establishing a network of practitioners and experts of this field.
INTERPOL also revealed that it specifically working on projects related to “Bitcoin laundering and Blockchain analytics”. As an example, the law enforcement agency revealed the development of its own digital currency in simulation-based training modules for law enforcement at its Singapore complex.
The law enforcement agency organized a similar conference last year in New Delhi, India, to discuss digital currencies’ role in organized crime.
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