The sad fact is that laundrymen and terrorist financiers are winning the war against money laundering. Having spent a successful decade in that dark profession, I know this to be true. Money launderers, who are not only better funded, they are highly motivated to work nights, weekends and holidays to beat bank compliance departments, and they have been highly successful for the past forty years. Law enforcement agencies will confirm that more than nine out of ten money laundering operations are never uncovered by compliance.
Typically, money launderers locate and exploit new opportunities long before bank compliance officers even learn that they exist, whether that be tradecraft, meaning finding new methods of laundering, or new jurisdictions or entities that can be used to place dirty money. Laundrymen are in and out of a new opportunity long before some database of high-risk entities or individuals lists them, and compliance officers, using traditional search techniques and resources won't tumble to something obscure but effective until much later.
So, what is to be done? Compliance officers cannot solve their dilemma by working harder, but a smarter choice is to employ developing technology to catch the money launderers and terrorist financier in real-time, literally in the act. This means using platforms that are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to find the elusive information that cannot be located by even the most experienced compliance officers, and is them developed using machine learning and analytics to take that data and develop it, displaying connections and relationships that would otherwise never be made.
Compliance officers now have an opportunity to turn the corner on the acquisition of critical information that will make the difference between failure and a successful outcome. the use of AI, and its accompanying programs, will find those heretofore unknown money laundering pipelines, so that they can be identified and terminated, with prejudice. The only thing is, everybody must participate, lest the laundrymen simply relocate to banks and non-bank financial institutions who aren't using these assets.
A compliance officer, using AI-powered systems, can now compete in the Information Age with the money launderers and terrorist financiers; he or she can identify a potential problem, technique or bad actor early on, and change the ultimate outcome, denying their opponents the advantage they have long held. It is a game-changer; let's get it done forthwith.