London’s Metropolitan Police have reportedly assembled a 40-person team dedicated to cracking down on crypto crime.
According to a new report from the Financial Times, the police force’s crypto team began recruiting last December and became operational in May.
Detective Inspector Geoff Donoghue, who works on the Met’s crypto investigation team, tells the FT that crypto is no longer a niche element of criminal enterprises.
“Cryptocurrencies give a new dimension to the settlement of value transfer… Everywhere that we have looked, we have found [crypto]. The evidence is suggesting an endemic role of cryptocurrency in organized crime… Drugs, guns, girls and workers… There has been growing evidence that there has been the emerging use of crypto within those fields as well.”
The team is reportedly in the midst of 19 active criminal investigations based on 74 “intelligence referrals.”
Mat Stanley, a detective sergeant in the Met’s cyber crime unit, tells the FT that the crypto bear market hasn’t diminished the use of digital assets in crime.
“We’ve sat through a couple of crashes now… But if you’re buying £100 ($122) of drugs, you don’t care if that costs one Bitcoin or 0.1 Bitcoin.”
The Metropolitan Police serve the greater London area, excluding the city of London itself. Their jurisdiction is home to 8.6 million people.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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