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  1. Homeland Security Investigations
  2. What We Investigate

What We Investigate

What We Investigate

HSI investigates crime on a global scale – at home, abroad, and online – to prevent harm to you locally. We stop crime at the source, keeping the public safe and holding criminals accountable.

Across the country and around the world, HSI special agents launch and pursue investigations into transnational crime and violations of the customs and immigration laws of the United States.

HSI’s investigations are diverse and wide-ranging. We conduct federal criminal investigations into the illegal movement of people, goods, money, contraband, weapons and sensitive technology into, out of and through the United States.

We stop crime at the source, keeping the public safe and holding criminals accountable.

Our cases often start by looking into individuals who violate U.S. laws. But we don’t stop there – HSI builds complex cases against the most sophisticated criminal networks that operate globally and pose the greatest threat to our security.

We also play a crucial role in investigating crimes of exploitation. This includes combating child exploitation, human trafficking, financial fraud and scams and other crimes against vulnerable populations.

HSI investigates the following types of crime:

  • Child Exploitation

    HSI is a global leader in the fight to combat child exploitation. This heinous crime harms the most vulnerable population in our society.

  • Cybercrime

    Cyber criminals operate all around the world and have both financial and at times political motivations behind their illegal acts.

  • Cultural Property, Art, and Antiquities Smuggling

    The smuggling of cultural property, art, and antiquities is a global crime that enables criminals to profit off stolen history, launder money, and fund terrorism.

  • Financial Crime

    Most criminals commit crime to make money. Once they do, they have to hide or legitimize those funds. Criminals exploit you and our financial systems for profit.

  • Human Smuggling

    Human smuggling is a multibillion-dollar industry for transnational criminal organizations that take advantage of vulnerable people and do not value human safety.

  • Human Trafficking

    Human trafficking is a global crime that generally takes two forms: sex trafficking and forced labor. Traffickers use various methods to control and exploit their victims.

  • Identity and Benefit Fraud

    Criminals steal and invent false identity documents to gain access to the United States and to defraud the government of various benefits, posing serious threats national security and public safety.

  • Intellectual Property Theft and Trade Fraud

    Intellectual property (IP) theft and trade fraud are not victimless crimes. Criminals take advantage of people looking for a good deal and steal proprietary information from American businesses.

  • Labor Exploitation

    Labor exploitation exists across the globe with millions of people, including children, compelled to work through deception, coercion, and abuse of legal processes.

  • Narcotics Smuggling

    America is facing a public health emergency, with drug overdoses claiming more than one million lives since 1999. Accidental opioid overdose is the leading cause of death for people ages 18 to 45.

  • Terrorism and National Security Threats

    Terrorist organizations, adversary nations, and other national security threat actors aim to disrupt our way of life and weaken our country. They conduct and support terrorist acts, espionage, and other activities directed against Americans and our interests, both at home and abroad.

  • Transnational Gangs

    Transnational criminal gangs threaten public safety in communities throughout the United States. These gangs strike fear into our local neighborhoods, commit violent crimes against our citizens, and facilitate criminal activity such as narcotics and firearms trafficking, murder, extortion, and corruption.

  • Weapons Trafficking

    Criminal organizations and other dangerous groups operating around the world need weapons. They use them to advance their illegal enterprises, to assert fear and control over others, to eliminate rivals, and to resist government operations to stop them.

  • Wildlife Trafficking

    Protecting our natural resources is yet another way that HSI works to ensure the safety and well-being of our country. HSI investigates the illegal supplying, selling, and trafficking of plants and animals.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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