Europol, Interpol and the Basel Institute on Governance have created a working group to tackle money laundering through virtual currencies like bitcoin.

The group will gather, analyse, and exchange non-operational information regarding the use of digital currencies as a means of money laundering.

It will create a network of practitioners and experts in this field, who can collectively establish best practices and provide assistance and recommendations inside and outside the working group.

The task force will also organise annual workshops and meetings for the representatives of the law enforcement agencies and institutions to increase the capacity to investigate crimes in which virtual currencies are involved.

“There is a clear consensus that digital currencies pose a money laundering and terrorism financing threat. A small number of cases have already shown Law Enforcement Agencies that money laundering and terrorism financing can easily take place inside virtual environments, offering high levels of anonymity and low levels of detection removing many of the risks associated with real-world money laundering and terrorism financing activities,” the group said in a joint statement.

“Internet technologies become continuously more advanced, and so do the ways in which criminals utilise them for their illicit and illegal activities. Among these technologies, digital currencies are already transforming the criminal underworld,” the statement added.

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The agencies added noted that they that law enforcement agencies worldwide could benefit from the exchange of information and knowledge with peers from other jurisdictions.