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Cognitive Search & Analytics Prevents Money Laundering for a Leading Financial Intelligence Unit

The customer

Based in Europe, the customer is a financial intelligence agency charged with preventing and investigating fraud and money laundering. The agency serves as a national center (a) for the receipt and analysis of suspicious transaction reports and other information relevant to money laundering and related crimes, including terror financing, and (b) for alerting the relevant stakeholders – e.g. customs police and other law enforcement units – of the results of the analysis.

The challenge

Investigators at the financial intelligence agency maintain lists of suspects and need to rapidly decide for each suspect if they will let go or create a case for further analysis. In order to make informed decisions, they must be able to obtain supplementary information from other reporting entities and must have access on a timely basis to relevant financial, administrative and law enforcement information. In the current age of “big data” these activities have become increasingly difficult to perform accurately and rapidly, as investigators need to identify fraud and cyberattacks across increasingly large data volumes.

The solution

This particular financial intelligence agency decided to pursue a solution using Sinequa’s cognitive search and analytics platform to index the entire landscape of necessary information to provide a global, 360° view of every transaction. This gives the investigators the ability to search and analyze a wide range of structured and unstructured data to gain meaningful insights using implicit or explicit connections within the data.

Our organization is dedicated to help prevent money laundering and counter terrorist financing. We have implemented Sinequa Cognitive Search & Analytics platform to gain precious insight from millions of bank transactions and other sources to pinpoint fraud and suspicious activities.

A European Financial Intelligence Unit

The outcome

The 360° view approach employed by the financial intelligence agency provides an effective way to be more proactive in the fight against fraud. For example, imagine a comprehensive view of transactions, people, phone calls, email, and travel patterns, the connections between which reveal suspicious patterns that help investigators move a case forward. By automatically aggregating all of the information relevant to a given case across disparate repositories and data sets, investigators have better insight and a more complete view as to the likelihood that fraud has occurred, is occurring, or will occur. It helps focus investigative action to those transactions that are suspicious or even illustrate control weaknesses that could otherwise be exploited by fraudsters.

The approach effectively overcame what project managers refer to as the “unattainable triangle”, which maintains projects can only ever achieve positive results from two out of the three project attributes – i.e. quality, speed and cost. For example, a project that is high quality and fast can only come at great cost. Or a project that is fast and low cost will inevitably result in poor quality.

By leveraging Sinequa’s cognitive search and analytics platform, the agency was able to achieve speed and quality by enabling investigators to analyze more quickly and more accurately. They were also able to achieve low cost by avoiding the need to move the data, thereby avoiding the significantly higher costs (and risks) of a data migration project.