The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) organized a five-day training course on cryptocurrencies and dark web investigations for police and prosecutors in Uzbekistan. The course is part of a consistent OSCE effort to train law enforcement agencies in Central Asia on new technologies that can be misused by criminals in a region strategically important to the global drug trade.
According to the official press release dated 21 October, representatives of the Office of the Attorney General, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Security Service attended the training from 17 to 21 October to familiarize themselves with the main concepts and key trends in the areas of interconnection, anonymity and encryption, cryptocurrencies, obfuscation methods, darknet and Tor networks.
Law enforcement officers were introduced to the methods of seizing cryptocurrency and analyzing the blockchain, developed by the European Cybercrime Education and Training Group (ECTEG). The OSCE even donated a new computer class to the academy for the Office of the Prosecutor.
The course was the first national training in Uzbekistan conducted as part of the second phase of the extra-budgetary project “Capacity Building to Combat Cybercrime in Central Asia”, funded by the United States, Germany and the Republic of Korea. National training events will continue throughout the region through 2022 and 2023.
In 2020, the OSCE also hosted a cryptocurrency enforcement training program for the countries of Central Asia. At that time, the composition of the participating security forces was much larger, representatives of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia were present in Almaty.
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In August, the government of Uzbekistan, after taking significant steps towards a moderate approach to crypto, restricted access to a number of major international crypto exchanges, including Binance, FTX and Huobi, due to allegations of unlicensed activities.
The OSCE is the world’s largest security-oriented regional intergovernmental organization with observer status in the UN. Based in Vienna, it works on issues such as arms control, the promotion of human rights, freedom of the press and free and fair elections.