Global taskforce assembled to combat international financial crimes using crypto
The collaborative alliance was formed after a call to action by the OECD to crack down on global tax crime.
A global operational taskforce, the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), has been created to share and facilitate information and intelligence regarding international tax crime and money laundering activity.
The alliance consists of leaders of tax enforcement authorities from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands. The group plans to pilot new approaches to oppose tax crimes, including those that utilize cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, as a means of evading tariffs and contributions.
J5 comprises senior officials from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD).
The alliance was formed in response to demands from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for more to be done against enablers of tax crime. The group has already convened once and outlined tactical plans and opportunities to pursue cybercriminals.
We will work together to investigate those who enable transnational tax crime and money laundering and those who benefit from it. We will also collaborate internationally to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime and to make the most of data and technology.
J5 on how it intends to prevent international tax crime and money laundering
“Formation of the J5 demonstrates the serious commitment of governments around the globe in enhancing international cooperation in fighting serious international tax and financial crimes, money laundering, and cybercrime through the use of cryptocurrencies,” CRA director general Johanne Charbonneau said.
FIOD general director Hans van der Vlist described the group as a collaboration between five countries to tackle professional enablers that facilitate offshore tax crime, cybercrime and the threat of cryptocurrencies to tax administrations, as well as making the best use of internationally available data and technology.
The J5 has listed a set of specific outcomes it hopes to achieve through this active collaboration:
- Enhance existing investigation and intelligence programs
- Identify significant targets for new investigations
- Improve the tactical intelligence threat picture now and into the future
- Lead the wider community in developing its strategic understanding of how these crimes are committed
- Raise international awareness and create uncertainty for those who seek to commit such offenses
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported that in the first two months of 2018, consumers were defrauded out of $542 million in cryptocurrency scams and will lose a total $3 billion by the close of the year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that it currently has 130 different open cases pertaining to cryptocurrency-related crimes, owing to an escalation in illicit activity financed by digital currencies.
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