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In response to a dramatic rise in crypto-related financial crimes, the UK’s National Crime Agency has announced plans to expand its digital assets investigation division and “the newly formed Digital Assets Team; Conducts investigations into the complex Blockchain Technology that enables crime.
The agency is looking to hire four senior investigators for its Complex Financial Crime Team, tasked with investigating high-profile crypto fraud, money laundering and other sophisticated blockchain-related criminal activities. These investigators are set to work with an internal surveillance unit, as well as the London police force, aiming to solve complex cases with data and evidence coming from multiple channels:
“This includes the disruption of criminal activity within virtual arenas, high end high damage cryptocurrency and virtual asset fraud and money laundering offenses committed by significant organized crime groups and state actors. “
Candidates interested in the role must demonstrate an active Professionalising Investigation Program Level 2 accreditation or an equivalent government-recognised crime investigation qualification. The NCA remuneration package for these roles will range between £34,672 and £38,314, with additional benefits commensurate with civil service positions.
This recruitment drive reflects the UK’s wider stance on digital assets. The establishment of a dedicated digital assets team by the NCA on January 4 is a testament to the country’s intention to tackle crypto fraud, which reportedly generated a whopping $287 million in 2022 alone, according to the official cybercrime and systems UK fraud reporting:
“The National Crime Agency’s ‘crypto cell’ will initially have five officers dedicated to a ‘proactive cryptocurrency remit,’ […] The move marks an ‘increased focus’ on cryptoassets.
As part of the ongoing trend to reduce crypto crime in the United Kingdom, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill, proposed in September 2022, looks to give the government greater powers to “seize, freeze and recovery of cryptoassets” used in crime. The bill has not yet passed the House of Lords.
In addition, on July 26, the NCA revealed an ongoing search for financial investigation managers, who will navigate the intricacies of the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows the government to effectively “suppress criminal activity and effectively dismantle organized crime networks.”