Police and Regulators Convening in Australia to Address “Globalization and Digitization of the Criminal Economy”

More than 200 delegates representing police forces and regulatory bodies in Australia, the US, Singapore, and New Zealand are convening Nov 13-15 in Brisbane at the 2019 National Proceeds of Crime Conference.

Present in force will be staff from Australia’s Taxation Office, Securities and Investment Commission, Criminal Intelligence Commission and Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

The event is being hosted by the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce. The theme is “Rethinking Law Enforcement efforts to address the Globalisation and Digitisation of the Criminal Economy.”

According to a press release from the AFP, delegates will, “discuss trends in criminal enterprises and better ways to identify, restrain and forfeit the proceeds of crime, depriving criminals of valuable assets to make Australian communities safer.”

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough highlighted the relevance of cryptocurrencies and encryption when it comes to organized crime:

“Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets…Seizing and removing the profits of crime is one of the most effective capabilities we have in impacting organised criminal networks.”

“We are honoured to have representatives from law enforcement, government departments and private enterprise from across Australia and the world coming to Brisbane to share their insights and to collaborate on how we respond to emerging technologies like cryptocurrency.”

Last week, US Senator Mitt Romney asked FBI director Christopher Wray, “whether there should not be some kind of effort taken in our nation to deal with cryptocurrency and the challenges that prevent (sic) for law enforcement and for deterrence of terrorist activity.”

Wray responded that follow-the-money investigations are being undermined by the increasing use of cryptocurrencies and encryption:

“(I)n terms of our adversaries of all shapes and sizes becoming more facile with technology as well as various types of technology that anonymize their efforts, whether its cryptocurrency, whether it’s default encryption on devices and messaging platforms, we are moving as a country and as a world in a direction where if we don’t get our act together, money, communications, evidence, facts -all the bread and butter for all of us to do our work- will essentially be walled-off from the men and women we represent.”

Brisbane conference attendees, “will focus on how law enforcement and other public and private organizations respond to criminal enterprises in a digital environment, with increasing levels of encryption and the impact this has on the community.”

Delegates will also discuss the Darknet, trends in money laundering, collaborating on investigations, evidence collection in the cloud-based data age and monetization of cybercrime.

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