Two experts in cybercrime from the Netherlands have been in Guernsey this week to increase awareness of Cryptocurrencies among staff within Bailiwick Law Enforcement.
Cybercrime investigator Maarten Van Barneveld of the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service and Public Prosecutor Maarten van der Zwan have been giving a series of masterclasses to officers from Guernsey’s High Tech Crime Unit, Financial Intelligence Unit and Criminal Investigations Department.
Their invition to the island stemmed from a recent conference in Sweden, which members of Guernsey’s ICART (International Cooperation and Asset Recovery Team) attended.
The sessions delivered this past week have included a mix of theory and practical exercises including case studies where investigators have tracked down and de anonymised cyber-criminals.
Detective Superintendent Ruari Hardy, Head of Economic Crime, said: “While not illegal, cryptocurrencies are unregulated, decentralised and can quickly be transferred across borders. Law Enforcement Agencies across the world are seeing criminals use electronic currencies to finance illegal activities and also launder money. This is an opportunity for our officers to learn from experts in the field and to gain knowledge and experience in a variety of areas, including how the currencies work and how to trace transactions.”
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are created and stored online. After cash has been converted, it is stored in a virtual wallet on a PC or mobile phone app and can be moved anywhere in the world electronically and then withdrawn again as cash in the local currency. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies currently in use, with new ones regularly emerging.