Interpol has launched its metaverse designed for law enforcement worldwide to prevent the surging threat of crimes in the crypto-verse. The global police organization held the launch at a surprise session of the 90th INTERPOL General assembly in New Delhi on Thursday.
According to an announcement on its website, registered users can make a virtual tour of the organisation’s general secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, interact with officers via their avatars, enrol for training courses, and engage in other policy activities. Accordingly, INTERPOL said that it sees the metaverse benefiting law enforcement in different capacities, including remote work, networking, and collection and preservation of evidence. During the event, the organization also launched an Expert Group on the Metaverse to represent the concerns of law enforcement on the global stage, “ensuring this new virtual world is secure by design.”
“For many, the Metaverse seems to herald an abstract future, but the issues it raises are those that have always motivated INTERPOL – supporting our member countries to fight crime and making the world, virtual or not, safer for those who inhabit it,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.“We may be entering a new world, but our commitment remains the same,” he added.
The launch comes against the backdrop of surging crimes, with the crypto ecosystem allegedly being used as a conduit for money laundering and various exploits which pose serious threats to global security. In the past year, governments worldwide have been engaged in formulating regulations for the nascent sector even as watchdogs such as the US SEC and the DOJ continue to crack down on nefarious actors.
“As the number of Metaverse users grows and the technology further develops, the list of possible crimes will only expand to potentially include crimes against children, data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, and sexual assault and harassment.” INTERPOL wrote.
Given the borderless nature of crypto-related crimes, the INTERPOL has also been increasingly involved in the sector. In a recent report, the INTERPOL noted that crimes had increasingly moved online, necessitating them “to move further into a digital and seemingly borderless realm.”
Presently, the organization is actively searching for Do Kwon Terraform Lab’s co-founder, who is wanted in South Korea to plead charges around the May 2021 UST crash that led to the loss of over $40 billion in investor funds. In May 2022, the organization issued a Red Notice on Ruja Ignatova, “the Cryptoqueen”, co-founder of the alleged cryptocurrency ‘OneCoin’ who has been in hiding since 2017 after being implicated in a billion-dollar scam.