Australia

Peter Dutton warns terrorists are exploiting crypto-currency to 'obfuscate' crimes

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Source: AAP

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will tell a conference on terrorism financing that terrorists are using crypto-currencies to fund operations.

Terrorists are exploiting crypto-currencies to fund their deadly missions, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned.

Mr Dutton says the anonymity of the online currencies allows extremists to escape scrutiny.

"The anonymity afforded by such technologies enables terrorist financiers to obfuscate their activities," he will tell a counter-terror conference in Melbourne on Thursday.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
AAP

"The increasing use of digital and crypto-currencies, stored-value cards, online payment systems and crowd-funding platforms provide new channels through which terrorism may be financed."

He says countries need to stay ahead of modern financing measures, while also warning terrorists continue to use traditional methods, like ransom money and fraudulent charities.

Mr Dutton will call on Australia's private lenders to help join the fight, saying nations needed to embrace expertise from outside governments.

The home affairs minister will also call for greater scrutiny of charities and not-for-profits, saying they had become popular terror financing conduits.

"In many cases, not-for-profits are not even aware that they are being taken advantage of," Mr Dutton will say.

Mr Dutton says the anonymity of online currencies allows extremists to escape proper scrutiny.
Mr Dutton says the anonymity of online currencies allows extremists to escape proper scrutiny.
Getty Images

Mr Dutton will point to the work of Australia's anti-money laundering watchdog, AUSTRAC, in the Indo-Pacific to combat Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

The home affairs minister will also lump Islamist extremism and far-right extremism in with "environmental radicalism".

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