First cryptocurrency investigation training course in Latin America

From 17 to 19 January CRIMJUST, with the UNODC office in Colombia and the Global Programme against Money Laundering, supported the organization of the first training course on cryptocurrency investigation in Latin America. The aim of this practical course was to enhance participating countries’ understanding of cryptocurrencies and strengthen their capacity to conduct bitcoin tracing for investigative purposes. Participants attending the computer-based training course included investigators from law enforcement (including cyber oriented units), financial intelligence units, and prosecutors.

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, are being increasingly used to launder criminal proceeds and facilitate drug trafficking. This first training supported by CRIMJUST is an important step towards providing methods and tools for investigators and prosecutors to respond to this growing phenomenon.

During the training, participants from Colombia, Argentina and Peru received operational advice and worked on case scenarios with investigative experts. They also had the opportunity to operate with real bitcoin transactions and to practice bitcoin tracing on Chainalysis Reactor, a leading software in this field.

The training course offered an opportunity to understand bitcoin in both theory and practice. It covered basics on operating with bitcoin and also included the main elements to be considered in criminal investigations. In addition the course presented an excellent opportunity to share and exchange best practices on the existing mechanisms and tools to conduct operational analysis of cryptocurrencies as well as increase regional cooperation in this field.