The US Department of Justice announced today that it has created a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) to tackle crypto crimes. Under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team will investigate the criminal activities of virtual currency exchanges and other money-laundering infrastructure actors. Crypto-related crimes have been a major concern among regulators and law enforcement agencies recently.
NCET will provide support in tracing and recovery of crypto lost in fraud and extortions.
In an official announcement, DOJ mentioned that the NCET would provide support in tracing and recovery of cryptocurrency assets lost to fraud and extortion, including digital payments to ransomware groups. The team will combine the expertise of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) with other sections in the division. According to the announcement, the NCET will help tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, particularly crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors.
Crypto-related crimes have seen a significant rise this year.
Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in the US. The total number of cryptocurrency users in the country has increased by more than 100% within the first six months of 2021. With rising adoption, crypto-related crimes have also jumped substantially. With the latest setup of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, the DOJ is planning to reduce illegal crypto activities in the region. “The NCET will draw and build upon the established expertise across the Criminal Division to deter, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute criminal misuse of cryptocurrency, as well as to recover the illicit proceeds of those crimes whenever possible,” DoJ noted.