Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen
The Manitoba government is providing $100,000 to Winnipeg police to train five officers as cryptocurrency specialists. The police department indicates that cryptocurrency-related fraud is increasing exponentially.
Money comes from the Forfeiture Fund for Assets Obtained or Used Criminally, Says Justice Minister from Manitoba, Kelvin Goertzen. It will also be used to buy online transaction tracking software, such as CipherTrace or Blockchain Forensics.
This additional funding aims to shine a spotlight on those lurking in the virtual world to prey on their victims, Goertzen says.
In the past week alone , police forces in the cities of Winnipeg and Brandon have received more than a dozen reports of fraud targeting seniors, with losses estimated at $100,000.
According to Sergeant Trevor Thompson of the Winnipeg Police Service's Financial Crimes Unit, criminals increasingly prefer cryptocurrency transactions to cash or other traditional forms of funds transfers.
As cryptocurrencies have become more popular and more widely available, criminal actors have migrated into this space and primarily use cryptocurrencies as a means of receiving funds from their victims, says Trevor Thompson.
Sergeant says policing now needs to adapt.
Tools and training are required to provide the knowledge and skills to carry out thorough investigations involving cryptocurrency, continues the police officer.
He notes that specialized training may make it possible to recover some of the stolen funds.
New data from Statistics Canada released on Wednesday shows a sharp increase in crimes committed online during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.