The Darkweb is becoming increasingly a place where illegal activity thrives and criminals function in perceived anonymity. Reportedly, almost 30% of hidden services on Tor relate to some form of illicit activity, such as selling illicit drugs, weapons, compromised data, counterfeit documents, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other illicit products.
In this regard, the CyberEast project, a joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe, has delivered a training course on Financial Investigation, Virtual Currency and Darknet for a group of 21 Georgian investigators and prosecutors on matters of cybercrime and financial investigations, during 2-4 February 2022, training which took place in Tsinandali, Georgia. This event has closed the series of similar training initiatives offered by the project in all of the region's countries (except Belarus).
There was good feedback received from the participants regarding the practical explanation of the blockchain analysis used during this training along with other issues raised, such as different Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) and the way Georgian citizens own and trade cryptocurrencies.
CyberEast will continue to support the criminal justice institutions in the EaP in strengthening their capacities in cybercrime and electronic evidence, by focusing on parallel financial investigations and intelligence, online crime proceeds, financial fraud and money laundering offences, as well as looking more closely into the matters of virtual currencies and Darknet investigations in the context of “follow the money” concept.