The IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) announced on Thursday that it will be launching a pilot program in June where cyber attachés will be sent across four continents to combat cybercrime.
The attachés will focus on cracking down tax and financial crimes that use cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, peer-to-peer payments and mixing services.
The four attachés will be deployed to Sydney, Australia; Bogota, Colombia; Frankfurt, Germany; and Singapore and will work with law enforcement counterparts in Asia, Europe, South America and Australia.
“In order to effectively combat cybercrime, we need to ensure that our foreign counterparts have access to the same tools and expertise we have here in the United States,” said IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee in a statement.
The IRS-CI currently has one permanent cyber attaché at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. The position was created in 2020 to build a partnership with IRS-CI’s European law enforcement counterparts.
The IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS that focuses on financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, among others.
U.S. authorities have been cracking down on cyber criminals, especially those that use cryptocurrency to steal assets.
In March, the Department of Justice said it dismantled a darknet cryptocurrency mixer for enabling cyber criminals to launder more than $3 billion of cryptocurrency.
The DOJ said it seized two domains that directed users to the mixing service, known as ChipMixer.
The agency added that ChipMixer was also involved in other illegal activities including ransomware, fraud, cryptocurrency heists and other hacking schemes.
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