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NEWS: Lee lauds PPPs, tells how they helped secure major cases – including shutting down dark web child porn ring

by Laura Lynott

LEADING US fincrime expert Jim Lee has told how PPPs have helped generate hundreds of leads on major cases recently.

Jim Lee, former chief at the IRS-CI, who now works for Chainalysis, told the European Anti-Financial Crime Summit (EAFCS) at the RDS in Dublin how there is a J5 Challenge group – made up of experts from law enforcement, the private sector and financial sector, who had worked together to bring about investigation into the dark web and other online crimes.

“It’s an initiative where we grab subject specialists, officers and analysts from the private sector,” Mr Lee said.

“We put the folks in a room with 24 hours to bring results, operational investigative leads for each jurisdiction,” he added.

“We did it in an hour…They had to figure out how to bring real data to the table to share among each other, to share with attorneys, to develop leads.

“We used an AI tool to help analyse a lot of that data.  It Saved us a massive amount of time.  I locked the PPP experts in that room amd they developed over 200 leads in the most sickening crimes out there from the dark net, including child exploitation.”

The leads in each of the J5, heralded some investigations and the PPPs had gained real traction by working together.

Mr Lee said this had resulted in a “powerful PPPs” movement.  Mr Lee said over the years he had seen a 90pc prosecution rate.

“Most crimes are committed to make money,” he said.  “We can get involved in all of them from narcotics, to national terrorism.

“Every crime you can think of, other than a few, are to make money.  We partner with local federal states law enforcement and with countries all round the world.”

Some of the success stories he highlighted included the Hydra investigation, which was led from the US.

That case centred on a dark web marketplace for drugs and resulted in the largest takedown in U.S history.

In another case, revolving around cryptocurrency, $6.3bn had been seized, he stated, using Chainalysis tools and data.

This was the largest seizure in the U.S Government’s history, he said.

While Al-Qaeda, Hamas and ISIS had raised crypto funds to “support their nefarious acts,” he said, but this activity had also been captured.

He had also been involved in work tracking bad actors behind child porn cases on the dark web. 

“We were able to save 23 kids from actively being abused, which was massive and one case led to 330 arrests over the world,” he said.  

Those arrests were “customers of the sickening website,” he added.

Mr Lee’s vast experience proved more than food for thought for the packed audience of tech, banking and legal experts at the summit, as the call for PPPs to stop crime in its tracks, gathered pace.

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