Australia is witnessing a rapid surge in cryptocurrency adoption. Unfortunately, with this surge comes an increase in financial crimes within the crypto space in Australia. In order to catch up with this increase in crimes, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has formed a unit dedicated to crypto-related crimes.
Australia’s new crypto-related crime unit will focus on money laundering
As reported by the Australian Financial Review Monday, the AFP saw the necessity of the move due to the growing rate of crypto-related crimes in the country. Criminals have turned to cryptocurrencies for illegal financing as a result of its censor-resistance feature, and anonymity.
The newly-established unit will address money laundering and other crypto-related crimes. This decision comes at a time when the Australian Federal Police has reached its 5-year target of confiscating up to $600M in illegal assets in just three years. This feat highlights the AFP’s competence, but it also attests to the disturbingly increasing rate of financial crimes.
The AFP set up the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) to handle the exercise. The AFP noted that, since the setting of the target in February, 2020, they have seized up to $380M in residential and commercial properties, $200M in cash and bank accounts, and $35M in luxury items and cryptocurrencies.
Last month (August), the CACT restrained three NSW properties, 47 vehicles, including 31 classic cars, and about $676,000 in gold and silver bullion,
the Police added.
Crypto-related crimes appear to be on the rise
Crypto-related crimes have surged with the growing rate of cryptocurrency adoption globally. One of the major driving forces of this increase in crime is the fact that the industry is relatively new. Authorities across the world have not been able to set up the proper legislation to balance innovation and crime fighting.
Last month, South Korea mentioned that 75% of illegal FX transactions in the country are crypto-related. The East Asian country is also ramping up its surveillance in the industry in the wake of this discovery.
Other countries have as well highlighted the need for increased oversight. Australia is the latest to put up extra measures in this regard. In July, a study found that criminals in Australia whose financial crimes are crypto-related are likely to have tougher sentences.
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