US Federal Agencies Unite to Form ‘Mini-FBI’ for Dark Web Crypto Crime

The U.S. government has established a new task force for targeting crypto crime consisting of five investigators from different federal agencies.

Established on June 15, the “Darknet Marketplace and Digital Currency Crimes Task Force,” aims to “disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations” that use the “appearance of anonymity” provided by digital currencies to enable drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. Its activities will be contained to Arizona for the time being.

“As these criminal activities and enterprises have become more sophisticated, law enforcement tools, resources, and intelligence have had to adapt,” stated a press release shared from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website on Tuesday.

The crossover includes agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), IRS Criminal Investigation Unit (IRS-CI), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPS).

All five agencies have completed a slew of criminal investigations over the years pertaining to cryptocurrency, which is growing as a tool for bypassing the checks and balances of the traditional financial system.

Last year, for example, the DOJ reclaimed $3.6 billion in Bitcoin stolen from crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2018 – its largest financial seizure in history. Later that year, the department seized 50,000 Bitcoin (BTC) linked to Silk Road – a now defunct darknet marketplace that used Bitcoin to facilitate transactions for drugs, weapons, and other illegal items.

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