The aim of this training activity, organized jointly by TNTD/SPMU and CARICC, is to train police investigators to detect, identify and collect intelligence and evidence necessary to prosecute all criminal activities, including illicit trafficking of NPS on the Darkweb or conducted using cryptocurrencies.
The past few years witnessed unprecedented growth in the synthetic drugs market, especially in number, type and availability of new psychoactive substances (NPS). According to UNODC, the NPS market over the last years has become a policy challenge and a major international concern. UNODC’s Early Warning Advisory on NPS reports that the number of NPS identified in Central Asian countries has significantly increased over the years. The numbers of NPS reported in Central Asia has risen to 31 in 2015 and to 48 in 2016 with almost all countries of the region reporting seizures of NPS, whereas only one NPS was reported in the Central Asian region both in 2013 and 2014.
While the Internet continues to be used as a means of drug trafficking and illicit trade in precursor chemicals, the use of the Darkweb has been also growing. The Darkweb, a part of the Internet accessible only with special software designed to hide and conceal users identity, is a home for online hidden marketplaces offering a large range of illegal items, such as drugs, weapons, counterfeit currency, stolen credit card details, forged documents and unlicensed pharmaceuticals, as well as criminal services, from illicit gambling to murders for hire. Transactions in these marketplaces typically use bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) for payment and employ secure communications between buyers and vendors.
This will be a five-day course organized for about 20 law enforcement investigators from the CARICC Member States and its staff specialized in cases of drug trafficking linked to the use of Darkweb and/or cryptocurrencies.
The material for the training course was developed by the group of law enforcement officers from Austria, Belgium, Spain and Norway, as well as experts from INTERPOL, EUROPOL, UNODC and OSCE within a framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) project.