Financial Crime – what’s the big deal?
It would be easy to view financial crime as victimless. Fraud, money laundering, insider dealing bribery, corruption, and cybercrime affect only big business and don’t cause anyone physical harm. However, this view is a misconception. The broad range of activity covered by the phrase ‘financial crime’ is frequently used to fund other activities which have a high cost to society. Acts of terrorism and serious and organized crimes such as drug trafficking, child sexual exploitation or human trafficking are often the hidden result of illegal financial activity.
Solving financial crime is one of the main ways of tackling terrorism and serious and organized crime. Law enforcement organizations, financial institutions, and public agencies need to be able to work together and use all of the information at their disposal to detect, prosecute and prevent financial crime.
One step ahead
Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and inventive in their use of technology and those tackling financial crime need not only to keep up with the criminals but to be one step ahead of them. Effective intelligence analysis is a crucial part of this process. The Intelligence Analysts who work within organizations tackling financial crime need to be able to manage and make sense of huge volumes of data in order to detect fraudulent activities, unearth hidden connections between accounts, and track relationships between sources and beneficiaries. They need to be able to connect the dots and connect them quickly. Only the very best investigation software tools will allow them to do this.
Structured data is already the cornerstone of the fight against financial crime, but what about the wealth of information held in unstructured data? In order to remain one step ahead of the perpetrators of financial crime Analysts need to be able to evaluate the information held in unstructured data, for example:
- Suspicious activity reports – reports which financial institutions produce when they identify potentially unusual behavior relating to money laundering or fraud
- Emails, chats, and phone call records – either records of interactions between customers and staff of financial institutions, or Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) from social media or the wider web
- Documents from financial institutions – transaction review memos, case reports and wire data.
The sheer volume of unstructured data available can feel overwhelming and it just keeps on growing every minute of every day.
Sintelix can help
Sintelix software enables Analysts to evaluate unstructured data by extracting entities and relationships from multiple data sources quickly and effectively. Sintelix uses unstructured data analysis methods such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), to ‘read’ source documents and identify people, locations, organizations, accounts or other entities. It can also identify the relationships between these entities. It can fuse data from multiple sources, recognizing references to the same entity and consolidating the information.
Sintelix enables Analysts to explore the real world relationships described in data sources using link charts, timeline views and social network analysis:
- Tracing the links between suspects and movements of capital
- Using social network analysis to identify previously unknown relationships and expand the network of potentially fraudulent activity
- Mapping the relationships between suspects and family or associates in a way that provides new insights into their relationships.
In this way, huge quantities of unstructured data can be combined and investigated to unlock the intelligence held within.
Partnership is key
In fighting financial crime partnership is key. It is only by working together that organizations can begin to tackle the global networks behind these crimes and minimize the harm that they bring to society.
Criminal Analysts in law enforcement need to be able to collaborate with Data Analysts in Financial Institutions. Federal and public agencies need to be able to work hand in hand with the private sector. Exchanging both raw data and the results of intelligence analysis between key players and across international borders has become more important than ever. More than 20 countries have already committed to developing public-private financial information sharing partnerships (FISPS) which will unite law enforcement, public agencies, and major financial institutions in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terror.
Against this backdrop of mutual co-operation, it becomes ever more important to have tools which allow information to be easily understood and shared. At Sintelix we understand this. Sintelix enables Analysts to produce intelligence products that are easy to distribute within an organization and simple to share with law enforcement organizations, financial institutions and public agencies.
Solving Financial Crime
At Sintelix we pride ourselves in doing business ethically and we understand that solving financial crime goes far beyond monetary benefits. Only by working together and harnessing technology can private and public institutions really hope to win the fight against financial crime and the dangers it poses to society.
Find out more about how Sintelix can support your fight below