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Developing AI Solutions to Disrupt Illicit Money Flows

Welcome to the TRACE project's second newsletter issue!

Every year, a cross-border investigation into illicit money flows are hindered by fragmented e-evidence. The TRACE project addresses this issue by delivering a modular open-source framework for money-laundering investigations which can be tailored to meet law enforcement agencies’ needs. 

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TRACE use cases

The use cases investigated in the project serve as a foundation for framework development. Working with investigators familiar with those cases and assessing their needs and experience ensures that the technical solution TRACE develops will benefit European law enforcement agencies.


Use case 1: Financing of Terrorism  

This blog post explores how moving terrorist activities into cyberspace affects terrorist operations and financing in particular. The TRACE project examines terrorist financing both as a “standalone” phenomenon and in connection with other criminal schemes utilised to finance terrorism.


Use case 2: Web forensics for tackling terrorism investigation

Web forensic and open-source intelligence (OSINT) are the basic tools used for information gathering related to crime in cyberspace. The use of technologies by terrorist groups is a daily routine, from use of social networks and ensuring encrypted communication to financing of individual terrorist groups.


Use case 3: Analysis of property market transactions  

Recent years have seen a drastic spike in suspected use of real estate development and property transactions for money laundering. This blog post discusses connections between money laundering, real estate development and the property market.


Use case 4: Cyber-extortion

Ransomware incidents continue to cause disruption throughout the world, with several high-profile incidents occurring in 2022. From cyber stalking individuals to ransomware attacks on businesses, cyber-extortion is a form of global organised crime so effective that it is commercially available on a crime-as-a-service basis. But is it new?


Use case 5: Money laundering with stolen art and antiques

The modern art and antiquities markets are particularly vulnerable to money laundering. This blog post explores the characteristics of the art market that make it attractive to criminals and how the TRACE solution aids Law Enforcement Agencies in an investigation.


Use case 6: Online gambling for money laundering  

The ability to open an account from anywhere, transfer illicit profits onto said accounts and have them paid out as gambling profits provides the perfect platform to route money for any reason, especially in organised crime and terrorism.



The TRACE project announces knowledge exchange with the LOCARD project

VICESSE and the University of Applied Sciences for Public Service in Bavaria (HföD) are organising a knowledge dissemination event on 8 July 2022, which will be hosted by VICESSE and take place in Vienna, Austria. 

The meeting serves to exchange the first results of the two EU-funded research projects TRACE and LOCARD, to discuss possibilities for cooperation and to explore synergies between the two projects. In addition to the two project teams, experts from various law enforcement agencies and cybercrime specialists will take part in the meeting.


Money Laundering Via Non-Fungible Tokens

The record sales of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) demonstrate a volatile market where exorbitant amount of money is involved. Concerns have been raised around the globe whether this amount of money spent on NFTs is used in order to facilitate illicit financial transactions and/or circumvent the increasingly robust anti-money laundering (AML) legislation both at the EU and international levels.


Insights from the first quarter to support LEAs in tracing illicit money flows, TRACE Consortium Meeting

After a long period of meetings over Zoom, the TRACE consortium was finally able to meet in person to discuss the progress of the project over the last ten months. The hybrid meeting (online and in person) took place on the 11th and 12th of April in Lisbon and was hosted by the NOVA School of Law (NSL). 


LEA cluster updates

Recognising that our projects have common stakeholders and similar objectives in supporting law enforcement against organised crime and terrorism, we have formed a cluster with nine other H2020 projects: CCDriverCOPKIT, DARLENEINSPECTrLOCARD, PREVISION, PROTAXRAYUELA and ROXANNE. 


What is entity recognition and how can it help  law enforcement? Check out the latest ROXANNE blog to learn more about how this part of language processing is used in criminal investigations.


The CC-DRIVER project aims to examine the drivers behind cybercriminality in the European Union (EU), emphasising the factors that lead young people to cybercrime, as well as Cybercrime-as-a-Service. Learn more about the key building blocks and application features of the SAQ are introduced by this blogpost.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 883543.


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