Financial crime, also often referred to as white-collar crime, covers a wide range of criminal offences which are generally international in nature.
Closely connected to cybercrime, financial crimes are often committed via the Internet and have a major impact on the international banking and financial sectors – both official and alternative.
Financial crimes affect private individuals, companies, organizations and even nations, and have a negative impact on the entire economic and social system through the considerable loss of money incurred.
At INTERPOL, our main initiatives in financial crime focus on:
- Payment cards;
- Money laundering;
- Counterfeit currency and security documents;
- Fraud (such as lottery fraud and so-called "Nigerian letters").
Organized criminal networks are often behind financial crime, drawn by the prospect of the huge profits to be made.
Law enforcement officers need to react swiftly in order to secure evidence or to freeze and seize illegally obtained assets. However, a number of factors make it difficult, sometimes even impossible to trace the criminal or the illegal assets.
These factors are due to differences between countries in terms of their national jurisdictions, their implementation of international conventions, and the level of expertise of their investigative and prosecutorial authorities.
INTERPOL’s role in addressing these truly international challenges to law enforcement is:
- To identify and to collect best practices and expert knowledge in this field and to disseminate this information to law enforcement authorities worldwide;
- To help specialized units to swiftly exchange operational information using INTERPOL’s tools and services.