Sensitization Workshop for TF Stakeholders on Use of Cryptocurrencies & Darkweb

13 October 2023, Karachi - The Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Programme of UNODC Pakistan, funded by the U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), organized a two-day Sensitization Workshop on the use of Cryptocurrencies & Darkweb. The workshop took place on 9-10 October 2023 in Karachi.

This workshop came at a crucial time as the use of Cryptocurrencies and the Darkweb is a relatively new area for Counter-Terrorism officials in Pakistan. The emerging trends in digital assets and online platforms pose both opportunities and challenges.

Participants included various stakeholders such as law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, prosecutors and Judges from Sindh and Balochistan. The workshop aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to understand the complex landscape of cryptocurrencies and the Darkweb, especially in the context of terrorism financing (TF).

The workshop started with introduction to Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology session aimed to explain Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, outlining their legitimate uses as well as their potential for misuse in terrorism financing. Second Session covered the Darkweb to look into the hidden parts of the internet, focusing on how illicit activities, including terrorism financing, could be conducted anonymously.

During the second day, a detailed presentation on the current laws and regulations surrounding Cryptocurrencies was presented. Challenges in enforcing them was also discussed in detail. During the second part of day 2, case studies were shared with all the participants. Real-world examples were provided to demonstrate how Cryptocurrencies and the Darkweb have been used for terrorism financing. At the end of the workshop, participants engaged in hands-on training sessions where they learned how to trace cryptocurrency transactions and identify suspicious activities.

The workshop served as an eye-opener for many participants, shedding light on the pressing need for a multi-agency approach to tackle the challenges posed using Cryptocurrencies and the Darkweb in terrorism financing. Participants also gained practical skills that will enable them to contribute more effectively in their respective roles.

Workshops concluded with closing remarks by UNODC to expressed gratitude towards INL for extending financial support. The workshop was formally closed with a distribution of certificates for the participants.