The Middle East and North Africa region has received $700 million in illicit cryptocurrency funds
According to the report by Chainalysis, cryptocurrency crime in the Middle East and North Africa was behind more than $700 million in illicit funds transferred in 2022.
The UAE received more than 10.5% of that number, roughly $74 million of the total amount received by the MENA region using illicit cryptocurrencies, according to specific data points and trends shared with Cointelegraph.
Of the total amount that went to the United Arab Emirates, which was estimated at $74 million, $40 million was collected through stolen cryptocurrencies, while $27 million was obtained through fraud and fraud. Other crime categories had a role in collecting the remaining amount, including financing terrorism and many other crimes.
The report also found that scams are the most common type of illegal activity that led to money entering the MENA region, followed by stolen funds, dark web activities, and ransomware.
Although the Middle East and North Africa region accounts for hundreds of millions of US dollars collected illegally, it is still the second safest region in terms of the total value of illegal money transferred for services, with a rate of between 5 and 8%, after countries Sub-Saharan Africa, and the report notes that the small overall size of the region played a major role in this finding.
Despite the market downturn in 2022, global cryptocurrency crime was a record, with an estimated total value of $20.6 billion in total illicit funds. The report indicated the following:
“Overall, the share of cryptocurrency activities linked to illicit activities increased for the first time since 2019, reaching 0.24% in 2022, from 0.12% in 2021.”
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Despite this, the report found that cryptocurrency crime is a “small share of less than 1% of the total volume”. “We should also keep in mind that despite the uptick this year, illegal activities in the cryptocurrency world are still on the wane.”