United States to Monitor Canadian Border for Illicit Drug-Related Bitcoin Transactions

Recent publications by the US federal government indicate that Bitcoin will likely be used in illicit cross-border transactions, and that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is ramping up efforts to detect and interdict bitcoin transactions. There is a special focus on Canada and the United States.
As part of next year’s budget, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) requested $3,730,815 (PDF) for “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas” in the Pacific Northwest. The ONDCP “advises the Administration on national and international drug control policies and strategies, and works to ensure the effective coordination of drug programs within the National Drug Control Program agencies and with various other governmental, non-profit, and private entities.”
The budget report states:
[Drug Trafficking Organizations] in the Northwest HIDTA region utilize novel money laundering techniques and emerging technologies to launder illicit drug proceeds. Bulk cash smuggling, the use of money service businesses, and the double exchange continue to be the primary methods of money laundering in the state. The double exchange usually involves the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana across the U. S.-Canada border while decreasing the need to smuggle the proceeds of the drugs by instead wiring money. While no investigations have been reported, the use of Bitcoins, an anonymous and decentralized digital monetary system, is likely to emerge as a major money laundering tool for traffickers. [emphasis added]

This post was published at Lets Talk Bitcoin on September 11th, 2014.

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