Virtual Crime to Grow in 2007

The Independent on Sunday reports that virtual worlds that have become a second home to millions of computer users could come under the scrutiny of governments as fears grow that they are being used by criminals to launder money.

A report due out next month from Deloitte, the consultancy firm, will say the nascent economies that have developed inside internet-based games such as Second Life and Entropia Universe could be exploited by criminal gangs.

The report warns that the fast-growing popularity of these games could tempt organised criminals, as players can trade virtual property and convert profits back into real currency.