Financial institutions are required to report suspicious activity through anti-money laundering (AML), a set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to stop the practice of generating income through illegal actions. Given the nature of ML, financial intelligence units (FIUs) and law enforcement authorities (LEAs) need to cooperate and exchange financial intelligence around the world. The EU-funded HEMOLIA (Hybrid enhanced money laundering intelligence, investigation, incrimination and alerts) project developed an innovative alert and investigation system for AML that enables secure networking and global information sharing among FIUs and LEAs across Europe and globally. In addition to financial information, the technology uses domestic and global telecom carriers, satellites, telephone networks, mobile phones and the internet as new intelligence sources. By combining all financial and telecommunications data, FIUs and LEAs have at their disposal enhanced alert, intelligence and investigation tools that significantly raise the level of prevention and detection while respecting privacy rights. Work began by defining end-user and system requirements. This was followed by an overview of the legal framework at global, EU and national levels that will support the system's use, an analysis of regulations relevant to AML data exchange, and guidelines on data exchange and use for FIUs and LEAs. Partners defined the system architecture by taking into consideration the legal framework. Software components were developed and algorithms were implemented for linking, investigating and filing data from various sources. An alerts engine tool and a graphical user interface for investigation tools were designed and integrated using the developed software. The system was successfully demonstrated at an FIU in Bucharest. Two complex ML simulations were carried out involving global information sharing between three countries. With money transactions and telecommunications activity at their fingertips, FIUs and LEAs are able to cooperate seamlessly in fighting financial crime around the world.
Financial crime, money laundering, anti-money laundering, financial intelligence units, law enforcement authorities