Police, OCBC to automate data retrieval process for financial crime investigations

Police, OCBC to automate data retrieval process for financial crime investigations

Ocbc bank file
OCBC Bank headquarters at Chulia Street. (File photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: The data retrieval process between Singapore Police Force and OCBC bank will soon be automated to enable financial crime cases to be solved quickly and more efficiently, it was announced in a news release on Thursday (Jul 11).

Under a collaboration known as Project POET (Production Orders: Electronic Transmission), the automated process will help shorten the turnaround time for law enforcement agencies to retrieve banking information for the purposes of investigation.

“Previously, the process was mostly manual and taxing on manpower, especially when the volume of information requested was extensive,” the news release said.

“With ‘Project POET’, information that previously took between 10 days to three months to process will now be available to law enforcement agencies within one or two working days.”

The automated process will also help combat money-laundering by using artificial intelligence and data analytics to “monitor and identify hidden relations and suspicious activities” by customers.

“As financial transactions continue to shift increasingly into the fast moving digital space, it is crucial for law enforcement authorities to be able to access relevant banking information quickly for their investigations," said Mr T Raja Kumar, Deputy Secretary (International & Training) for the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“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."

Ms Loretta Yuen, OCBC's head of group legal and regulatory compliance, 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. 

"Additionally, we are also able to turn the volume, variety and variability of our data into insights to help sharpen the accuracy of our work and allow us to better prioritise it, which will in turn help in combating financial crime and mitigate money-laundering risks.”

Project POET was announced at the opening of the two-day Financial Crime Seminar organised by the Association of Banks in Singapore.

Source: CNA/na(rw)

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