Since 2015, the FBI’s Transnational Organized Crime Western Hemisphere Intelligence Unit has led the FBI’s Illegal Mining Initiative. The initiative focuses strategic and tactical intelligence efforts to address the involvement of Western Hemisphere transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) in the exploitation of illegal mining operations in the Western Hemisphere as a source of illicit revenue and money laundering vector. FBIHQ initiative members collaborate with FBI field office counterparts on the identification, targeting, and prosecution of TCOs, networks, and US businesses facilitating and benefiting from illegal mining operations. Although to bulk of the work has been focused on gold, the initiative also covers other precious and non-precious metals and stones.
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