The Australian Federal Police, which is an independent agency responsible for investigating crime and protecting the country’s national security, has reportedly formed a new cryptocurrency monitoring unit. The goal of this unit is to detect criminals who use digital assets and cryptocurrency in their activities, such as money launderers, and bring them to justice.


The current Aussie government has been on a mission to apply strict regulations on the digital asset sector for a while now. Last year, former Federal Treasurer – Josh Frydenberg – said that a comprehensive payments and crypto-asset reform plan is on the 2022 agenda. Earlier this year, Australia’s newly-elected Prime Minister – Anthony Albanese – doubled down on those plans.


Recently , the Australian Federal Police (AFP) is focusing on criminals that bypassing existing laws by using digital assets in their illegal activities. The national agency manager – Stefan Jerga – said the use of cryptocurrencies in such operations had significantly increased compared to 2018’s numbers. Keeping this in mind, the AFP established a special cryptocurrency unit that will find and punish criminals for committing financial crimes with the help of cryptocurrency.


The agency stated that its target is to halt over $400 million in crime proceeds by the end of the financial year 2024. In February 2020, it confiscated $260 million in residential and commercial property, $135 million in cash and bank accounts, and $24 million in cars, artworks, luxury items, and digital assets. Deputy Chief Executive of AUSTRAC – John Moss – also supported the new unit, claiming that criminals continue to adapt and find new ways to exploit emerging technologies.


At the end of 2021, the Australian politician and former Federal Treasurer – Josh Frydenberg – revealed that Australia’s authorities aim to enforce a cryptocurrency reform plan in 2022. The legislation was expected to enhance innovation, grant investors additional protection, and turn Australia into a global digital asset leader.


A few weeks ago, the government doubled down on those intentions, vowing to identify which digital assets are widely used in the country and place them under a regulatory framework before the end of the year. The process, called “token mapping”, should ensure maximum protection for investors.


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