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  • Lo Furneaux

UNODC Crypto Workshop in Cairo

Despite the use of crypto being illegal under Egyptian Law, more criminals in the Middle East and North African region are turning to the blockchain to fund their illicit activities than ever before, causing significant problems for local law enforcement.

To help combat these issues, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) invited our Co-Founder & CEO Aidan Larkin and our new public sector COO Thomas J. Abernathy to Cairo, Egypt to conduct an essential crypto workshop for a group of 60 representatives from the Egyptian Government, Central Bank, Public Prosecutors, FIU and Police.

Aidan and TJ conducted the workshop with Marcella Van Berkel, a specialist in asset recovery at Europol, and Amr Rashed, the Head of International Cooperation at the Egyptian Money Laundering Combating Unit. The session went through the basics of cryptocurrencies, how they can be used by criminals and the specifics of investigating, managing and storing this new class of asset.

TJ was delighted with the success of the workshop:

“It was an honour to be asked by UNODC to conduct a workshop on all things crypto for asset recovery professionals in the Middle East and North Africa. We had a fantastic session covering everything from investigating and managing crypto assets to their eventual sale or disposal."

"Though crypto is still illegal in this area of the world, it is used to fund further illegal activities in the region which causes numerous issues for law enforcement. Understanding cryptocurrency is half the battle so I am certain those in attendance will benefit from the information given in the workshop.”

Aidan was thrilled to be working face-to-face with his international colleagues again:

“After spending the last two years of UNODC projects behind a computer screen, it’s been an amazing experience to work in Cairo and to help the Egyptian authorities implement best practices for crypto asset recovery in person, with actual people and no mention of the mute button!"

"I’d like to thank the ridiculously talented fellow coordinators who made my job that much easier, our fellow guest speakers, and everyone behind the scenes helping us pull everything together. It was one of the most engaging and lively workshops I’ve coordinated, and we’re looking forward to continuing our mission in Egypt over the coming months.”

For over 20 years, UNODC has been working to advance efforts to tackle organised crime, drugs, corruption and terrorism globally. Through training programs and a network of field offices around the world, they offer practical assistance to encourage international cooperation during cross-border investigations.

If you would like to know more about our work in crypto-related frauds and asset recovery, contact

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