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How Criminals Launder COVID Funds via Online Investment Platforms

Fraud targeting governments’ pandemic-related welfare programs have seen criminals exploiting these schemes ever since countries started helping their citizens and businesses. If reports are correct, fraudsters benefit immensely from the US government’s strategies to...

The Crackdown on Shell Companies and the Role of Technology

The Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2020, enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021 of the US in January this year, had many key provisions to take the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in the country to the next level. The disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO), targeted to curb shell companies, is one among them and is widely regarded as a game-changer in the country’s fight against financial crimes. The new law comes at a time when the US remains one of the easiest places to set up an anonymous shell company, according to research from the University of Texas and Brigham Young University in Australia. The situation is no different in many countries where people can create untraceable shell companies that are used to give and receive bribes, launder money, evade taxes and circumvent sanctions easily by spending a few hundred dollars. In fact, many jurisdictions have acted to address the problem and the world is awaiting good results. Here, we look to dive deep into the problem of shell companies, notable actions against them and the ways in which technology can help. What are Shell Companies? The US Securities Act defines a shell company as “a company, other than an asset-backed issuer, with no or nominal operations; and either: 1) no or nominal assets/assets consisting of cash and cash equivalents; or 2) assets consisting of any amount...

Tookitaki Powers AI-Driven Anti-Money Laundering Solution Using HPE...

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a key collaboration with Tookitaki to provide a new offering designed for banks and financial institutions across Asia-Pacific. The new offering delivers Tookitaki’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered anti-money laundering (AML) solution in a secure and flexible as-a-service consumption model using HPE GreenLake for Big Data. The new solution enables financial institutions to create a central big data platform that can perform AML data analytics and enable AI AML solutions. Delivering the solution as a service through HPE GreenLake affords banks the agility, flexibility and scalability of a cloud experience while providing increased control, cost-effectiveness and governance when deploying AI-optimized infrastructure platforms and solutions on-premises. UOB, a leading bank in Asia, is the first financial institution in the world to have chosen Tookitaki’s AML solution on HPE GreenLake to enhance the bank’s AML system through AI. UOB customized Tookitaki’s AI solution to meet the bank’s needs. Through the collaboration with Tookitaki and HPE, UOB was able to pioneer an AI-enhanced AML system that concurrently applies two AML risk dimensions – transaction monitoring and name screening. UOB screens 60,000 account names monthly using the technology to determine if they belong to the individuals or entities on global regulatory watch lists. UOB’s AI-enhanced AML system can now pinpoint more accurately higher-priority cases from the more-than 5,700 average monthly suspicious transaction alerts flagged1. This enables the bank to deploy more deliberately and swiftly the necessary resources in investigating potential money laundering attempts...

The Rising Case for RegTech to Address AML Risks Amid COVID-19

Emerged as a subset of FinTech, the Regulatory Technology (RegTech) industry has now gone more mainstream, thanks to regulators and industry practitioners. Recently, there have been many pro-RegTech communique and reports, highlighting that the COVID-19 pandemic has ...

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