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FBI Establishes Virtual Assets Unit (VAU)

The FBI is announcing the creation of the Virtual Assets Unit (VAU), a nerve center for the FBI’s virtual currency programs where intelligence, technology, and operational support will flow to other divisions. In the VAU, virtual currency experts and cross-divisional resources are embedded in a task force setting to seamlessly integrate intelligence and operations across the FBI.

Virtual currency is used to facilitate nearly every type of online criminal activity, including ransomware attacks, child exploitation, and furthering the activities of hostile nation states. Over the past several months, the Criminal Investigative and the Cyber Divisions developed the VAU as part of the FBI’s strategic plan to address the growing need for virtual asset expertise in the law enforcement and intelligence communities. The VAU will allow the FBI to continue to aggressively track the movement of illicit funds, attribute criminal actors, and disrupt illegal activity.

The VAU became operational on February 7 2022 and is led by Criminal Investigative Division’s Financial Crimes Section.

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