SINGAPORE – Automated data retrieval processes will soon enable law enforcement agencies to reduce the time needed for crime detection.
Project Poet (Production Orders: Electronic Transmission), a collaboration between the Singapore Police Force and OCBC Bank, will allow banking information to be conveyed more promptly between the bank and the police, and enable financial crime cases to be solved more efficiently.
The new initiative was announced by Mr T. Raja Kumar, Deputy Secretary (International & Training) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, on Thursday (July 11) at the opening of the two-day Financial Crime Seminar organised by the Association of Banks in Singapore.
A joint statement released by the police and OCBC on Thursday said that the process of retrieving banking information for law enforcement agencies was largely done manually in the past and was a labour-intensive process, especially when there was an extensive amount of information required.
Project Poet will reduce the time taken to process information to within one or two working days. Previously, the process would have taken between 10 days and three months.
The technology also enhances Singapore’s Anti-Money Laundering Risk management regime, the statement said, as OCBC Bank can use artificial intelligence and transaction link analysis tools to monitor and identify hidden relations and suspicious activities by specific customers or customer groups.
This would benefit both the bank and Singapore’s financial intelligence unit, the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office – a unit under the Commercial Affairs Department.
“We should embrace technology and leverage predictive analytics to allow banks and authorities to work together to connect the dots and do so quickly, to spot suspicious trends and patterns and move in fast and effectively to arrest malicious activities,” Mr Kumar said.
There is a need to utilise technology to detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist networks who are becoming more sophisticated in their operations, he noted.
OCBC’s head of group legal and regulatory compliance Loretta Yuen said: “As a responsible business organisation, OCBC Bank worked on this solution which not only helps make the process faster and easier on our end, but also helps law enforcement agencies do their work better and faster.”
Insights from the data gathered will also help in combating financial crime and mitigating money-laundering risks, she added.
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