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Crime

Japan: 2018 saw 10 times more suspected crypto laundering reports than the year before

February 28, 2019, 12:00PM EDT

A new report published by Japan’s National Police Agency claims more than 7,000 possible cryptocurrency-related money laundering cases were reported to the authorities last year, the Japan Times writes. According to the report, some of the cases linked to cryptocurrencies involved drug-related transactions and child pornography.

Back in April 2017, Japan introduced a new law which required exchanges to disclose all suspicious transactions to the police. While the change resulted in 669 of such reports until the end of the year, 2018 saw the number multiply ten times. The agency notes that the cryptocurrency-related cases represented a very small fraction of all suspected money laundering cases in 2018, as the total number came close to 420,000.

However, acknowledging the tenfold increase, the National Police Agency hopes to implement AI tech meant to recognise patterns typical to suspicious transactions. Additionally, the agency’s staff will go through data analysis training.

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