On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report on international law enforcement related to digital assets. This is the first of about a dozen reports approved by President Joe Biden on March 9. order “Ensuring the responsible development of digital assets”.

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The report titled “How to Strengthen International Law Enforcement Cooperation to Detect, Investigate and Prosecute Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets” was written in cooperation with the State Department, Treasury and Homeland Security, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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The report states that countries have varying degrees of ability to tackle criminal activity due to unique law enforcement challenges related to the nature of digital asset transactions, such as their anonymity and ability to cross borders instantly. It lists money laundering, ransomware, cybercrime, fraud, theft, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion among the criminal activities under consideration.

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Weak anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) enforcement, limited legal frameworks and lack of experience in the face of evolving threats are also barriers to effective efforts to combat transnational crime.

Information sharing is a key component of international law enforcement efforts, but effective information sharing between US agencies is essential to the success of international efforts, the report notes, and a whole-of-government approach improves the effectiveness of law enforcement in general. The United States has entered into several agreements and organizations, such as the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), to improve information sharing.

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The recommendations of the report are mainly aimed at expanding the same cooperation and exchange of information. This goes into great detail about the need for stricter AML/CFT regulation. The report notes that criminals can take advantage of jurisdictional arbitration.

“Call partners to study and weigh the reputational and national security risks, and policy implications, of allowing certain VA businesses to operate within their borders.”

Numerous US agencies provide international training and outreach that contributes to the international fight against crime.