International community pulls together to combat virtual asset crimes

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has joined the project of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to combat virtual assets-based money laundering. The project started in autumn 2022. The founding meeting was held in Vienna, Austria, on October 20-21.

The project allows the NABU staff to gain access to specialized software that will help detect suspicious monetary transactions with virtual assets and counter criminal schemes in this area. The personnel with NABU and other state institutions will have the opportunity to undergo training for trainers on the use of specialized software for sharing their experience with colleagues. In the course of the project, special attention will be paid to improving the legislation related to virtual assets and countering the legalization of proceeds obtained through crime.

"Crimes involving the use of virtual assets are increasingly common. Сorrupt officials increasingly request undue advantages in cryptocurrency. Improving Ukrainian legislation and obtaining effective tools will enable the investigation of such crimes and bringing those guilty to criminal responsibility more effectively," said Oleksandr Skomarov, the head of a NABU detective unit, who took part in the founding meeting of the project in Vienna.

More than 20 experts and practitioners from relevant law enforcement and financial institutions of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine discussed issues related to the risks posed by the use of virtual assets for criminal purposes and the circumvention of international sanctions regimes.

As reported, the employees of the National Bureau attended a number of training courses on cryptocurrency crimes investigation and are already probing several facts of officials’ misstating virtual assets in their declarations.