top of page
  • Lo Furneaux

Paris Pact Expert Working Group: Virtual Assets and the Opiate Trade: A New Threat?

Our Co-Founder & CEO Aidan Larkin was invited to give a presentation at the Paris Pact Expert Working group meeting in support of Pillar II of the Vienna Declaration: Detecting and blocking financial flows linked to illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan. He spoke about the rising threats of cryptocurrency and virtual assets in its relationship to the opiate trade.

Despite continued efforts by the international community, the opiate trade continues to be a growing problem. It generates illicit financial flows that fuels corruption and organised crime, and in some cases fuels insurgency and other terrorist activities. Since 2003, the Paris Pact Initiative has been a vital structure in this fight.

This initiative is a partnership between 58 countries and 23 organisations, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) created for the purpose of analysing and recommending effective countermeasures against the Opiate Trade. The Vienna declaration was adopted in 2012 as a statement of the partner countries commitment against the illicit trade in Afghan Opiates. This declaration consists of 4 main pillars that provide a roadmap for the activities of the Paris Pact Initiative.

This meeting of the Expert Working Group was focused solely on the second pillar of the Vienna Declaration, which deals with detecting and blocking the financial flows linked to the Opiate Trade. It brought experienced members of law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies together with financial intelligence experts from across the globe. The participants discussed the existing gaps in the current process, new efforts to provide solutions to these solutions and the impact of international cooperation on these efforts.

Aidan’s presentation was focused on the impact of cryptocurrency and virtual assets like NFTs on the opiate trade. He commented:

“Cryptocurrency and virtual assets are providing a new avenue for opiate traffickers to launder their ill gotten gains. I’m delighted to be a part of the concentrated efforts to improve the management of seized and confiscated assets across Africa, particularly when handling complex assets like cryptocurrency.”

If you would like to learn more about our work with crypto assets, contact

For press enquiries, contact

bottom of page