UK’s NCA Seeks to Expand its Crypto Crimes Unit
- The UK’s NCA established a crypto crimes investigation unit earlier this year.
- Crypto crimes have surged in the UK in the past year.
- The UK authorities recently approved the Financial Services and Markets Bill (FSMB), which recognizes crypto as a financial activity.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced plans to expand its digital asset investigation team to help it improve its capacity to investigate digital frauds, money laundering, and other offenses involving blockchain technology. The agency plans to hire four senior investigators to join the Complex Financial Crime Team.
The role focuses on advanced cryptocurrency fraud carried out by organized crime groups. The new investigators will also be required to work with the London Police Department’s surveillance squad.
In addition, the advertised positions involve coordinating with members of the intelligence, analytical, and investigation teams to develop complicated cases using details and proof from multiple sources.
According to the job listing,
It involves inquiries into criminal activity within virtual arenas, including the high end of high-harm cryptocurrency and virtual asset fraud and money laundering offenses carried out by significant organized crime groups and state actors.
Crypto frauds such as rug pulls, identity theft, and bridge scams have soared since 2022. Reports suggest that fraudsters stole over $287 million, from crypto-based scams in 2022. In response to this, the UK authorities established a digital asset team.
The NCA has consistently worked to increase the number of qualified individuals in its crypto crimes team. The agency recently announced plans to hire a financial investigations manager to oversee crypto and digital asset crime investigations.
The UK has been working to regulate the crypto industry as part of its plans to become a digital hub. However, some lawmakers have called for caution and likened crypto activities to gambling.
Interestingly, UK lawmakers recently approved the Financial Services and Markets Bill (FSMB), which recognizes crypto as a financial activity.