IRS Teams Up with Global Agencies to Train Ukrainian Officers to Combat Crypto-Enabled Crime

In a significant step towards tackling cybercrime and bolstering global security efforts, the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) recently collaborated with international counterparts to provide advanced training to Ukrainian law enforcement officers.

The focus was on the intricacies of cryptocurrency and blockchain tracing.

Strengthening Global Efforts Against Crypto-Enabled Crime

Expanding on the previous successful cyber training given to Ukrainian law enforcement in May, the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) teamed up with the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from the UK.

Together, they conducted a second training session from September 18th to 21st, aimed at helping nearly 40 Ukrainian law enforcement officers better understand cryptocurrency and blockchain tracing.

This training took place online and equipped Ukrainian law enforcement with tools to fight money laundering, analyze fake cryptocurrency transactions, and enhance their skills in blockchain forensic investigations.

According to the official press release, the CI, FIOD, and HMRC collaborated with blockchain analytics firms CipherTrace and BlockTrace to provide the training.

The training involved individuals from various Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, including the Cyber-Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine, the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, and Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation.

Upon completing the training and passing an exam, participants earned accreditation as Cryptocurrency Tracing Certified Examiners (CTCE).

CI Chief Jim Lee said in a statement,

“I regularly tout the importance of public-private partnerships, and the trainings we’ve delivered to our Ukrainian law enforcement partners are real life examples of how government agencies and the private sector have come together on a global level to curtail sanction evaders.”

In May 2023, in collaboration with its partner and blockchain intelligence platform Chainalysis, CI provided an initial round of cyber training to Ukrainian law enforcement. The primary objective was to focus on identifying and disrupting the financial networks employed by individuals attempting to hide their assets in violation of sanctions.

Evading Sanctions

A year after invading Ukraine, Russian military fundraising groups have managed to raise millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies, despite US and international sanctions.

It was previously believed that Russian military procurement and disinformation groups have raked in nearly $4.2 million, relatively smaller than Ukraine which accumulated $212 million during the same period. However, recent research by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic suggests that Russia had amassed up to $20 million in cryptocurrencies.

Notably, over half of these funds have come through US-sanctioned entities, with more than 80% of the money flowing through centralized crypto exchanges. These entities have also utilized decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, NFT services, and decentralized exchanges.

Some individuals and groups have also embraced crypto for fundraising or incentives, even promoting NFT projects for the war effort.

This article first appeared at CryptoPotato

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