US House Financial Services Committee Hearing on Illicit Trafficing Activity May Include Discussion of Cryptocurrency

Next week on March 4th, the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, part of the House Financial Services Committee, will hold a hearing entitled “The Trafficker’s Roadmap: How Bad Actors Exploit Financial Systems to Facilitate the Illicit Trade in People, Animals, Drugs, and Weapons.” As part of the hearing, cryptocurrency is expected to be part of the discussion.

According to the hearing memo:

“Trafficking is the illegal movement, sale, and purchase of goods, many of which are illicit themselves, and people. The scope of trafficking is complex and often involves sophisticated transnational networks that generate substantial profits and that enable or result in a range of adverse impacts to American society and our economic and national security.”

Illicit activity, like trade in narcotics, is estimated at $1.6 to $2.2 trillion annually.

The Subcommittee states that the modes and mechanisms that illicit traffickers employ to launder trafficking proceeds are dynamic and evolving; “traffickers can now use new, innovative technology tools such as cryptocurrencies to launder their proceeds because the flow of the funds can be harder to trace.”

Witnesses at the hearing include:

  • Travis L. Adkins, Lecturer, African & Security Studies, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Togzhan Kassenova, Senior Fellow, Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft (PISCES), Center for Policy Research, SUNY-Albany
  • Celina B. Realuyo, Adjunct Professor, The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.
  • Gretchen Peters, Executive Director, Center on Illicit Network and Organized Crime (CINTOC) and The Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO)
  • Angel Nguyen Swift, Founder and Director, STAT (Stand Together Against Trafficking) and Advisor, Enigma Technologies

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, 2020, commencing at 10 AM ET. The hearing will be live-streamed on the committee’s website.

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