UNODC helps tackle bitcoin banking fraud and money laundering

UNODC helps tackle bitcoin banking fraud and money laundering. Image: UNODC1 February 2017 - In recent weeks, UNODC and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) trained law enforcement, anti-money laundering and bank supervision agencies on how to investigate money laundering with bitcoins, combat banking fraud and disrupt illicit financial flows, in Chisinau, Moldova.

Banking fraud generates significant illicit financial flows and poses a serious threat to the national economies. In the "Laundromat" case, the National Anticorruption Centre of Moldova investigated laundering of more than $22 billion.

Bitcoin is the world's largest cryptocurrency that enables payments on the world wide web. Capitalization of bitcoin is more than $13 billion. According to the 2016 World Drug Report, 25 per cent of drug users have purchased drugs via Internet. 

With the use of computers, more than 30 officers from the Balkans, Central Asia, Moldova and Ukraine were able to simulate investigation of the serious banking fraud, tracing of bitcoins and disrupting the illicit financial flows.

"I have very much enjoyed this seminar. It was both challenging and interesting. We actually simulated an investigation of money laundering through bitcoins and this interactive form of learning gave me a good introduction to this trending topic", said Baurzhan Kurmanov, Senior Assistant to the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan.

"The great impression I got was from the most interesting and least known to me: 'Cryptocurrency' topic and the current leader in the world-Bitcoin. The speakers provided the high level of knowledge and understanding of the technology", said Aleksandar Velkov, Senior Financial Intelligence Unit Officer, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 

The training, developed by UNODC's  Global Programme against Money-Laundering Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML) and the Global Programme against Cybercrime, was organized in cooperation with UNODC Regional Programme for South and Eastern Europe, UNODC Regional Programme for West Central Asia, and OSCE Coordinator of Economic and Environment Activities, and supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Government of Norway.

Further Information:

UNODC's Global Programme against Money-Laundering Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism

UNODC's Global Programme against Cybercrime