"[The] Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce set up in the U.K. as a collaboration forum to tackle financial crime has scored some wins for law enforcement in its first full year of operation."
We've seen the effects of failure of information sharing in grand fashion before. But today, U.K. authorities have demonstrated the benefits of disciplined data sharing in the fight against money laundering.
Data privacy is of utmost concern for citizens in many countries, and giving governments full authority and free access to individuals' data (financial and otherwise) can be a hard pill to swallow. Recent breaches of governmental trust have significantly changed the perception of elected-governments' ability to protect citizens' rights to privacy. That governmental scrutiny has created a challenging impasse for law enforcement and financial institutions when it comes to fighting financial crimes. Without robust data, creating linkages between criminals, transactions, behaviors, and methods becomes exponentially more difficult. Without trust, (law-abiding) people are exponentially less likely to give access to that data.
U.K. authorities may have struck an important balance between trust and enforcement. The key here is not only being transparent that they are using the financial data, but also in HOW they are using the data. That transparency can serve as a roadmap towards other effective AML initiatives and creative solutions.
Despite the many legal constraints surrounding the sharing of financial information, the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce set up in the U.K. as a collaboration forum to tackle financial crime has scored some wins for law enforcement in its first full year of operation. The National Crime Agency said it’s made 63 arrests of individuals suspected of money laundering, identified more than 2,000 accounts, closed more than 450 suspect bank accounts and restrained £7 million of suspect criminal funds from May 2016 through March 2017 thanks to the collaborative work of the task force.