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The role of corporate intelligence in tackling organised criminality

Publication date: Nov 19, 2010 11:02 AM

Start: Feb 09, 2011 10:30 AM
End: Feb 09, 2011 12:00 PM

Location: KPMG, London

Speaker: Roger Aldridge, Director, KPMG Forensic  
Audience: SECReT students

KPMG Forensic are a division of KPMG, one of the world’s biggest accountancy firms, focusing on fraud and financial misconduct investigations, forensic technology, anti-bribery and corruption, corporate intelligence and anti-money laundering. SECReT students were invited to KPMG global headquarters in London’s exclusive Canary Wharf district, a facility housing 4000, where Roger Aldridge, a director at KPMG Forensic introduced the work of the division.

Roger highlighted the fact that the Forensic division was not just a team of accountants but rather a multidisciplinary team drawn from a range of backgrounds including: investigative journalism, political risk analysis, corporate intelligence, regulation, forensic accounting, academia and law.

Roger then talked about his own specialist area – investigating organised crime. He talked about how criminals put ‘dirty money’ into a clean banking system, and how legal responses have evolved to combat this. He discussed the PIU Report 2000, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) and the work of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and how KPMG Forensic work with law enforcement to help civil and criminal prosecutions, particular in the process of seizing criminal assets. He distinguished between criminal and civil routes – criminal route goes after the individual whereas the civil route goes after the ‘criminal assets’ first, and was brought in to recover assets where a criminal has fled or died or a criminal prosecution has failed yet there was enough evidence to say that the assets have been gained from criminal activity.

Dan Aylward, from the Economics and Regulation unit, presented on the ‘Economics of Crime’. He discussed the relevance of economics to crime, and talked about the microanalysis of individual decisions to commit crime and the macroeconomic trends which might lead to higher crime such as unemployment, inequality, spending on policing, penalties for crime, education, seasonal variations, commodity prices and unemployment benefits. He presented a case study where KPMG had looked at oil smuggling in the Middle East and were able to identify, by analysing macroeconomic crude oil pricing trends, how oil was being smuggled from gas stations. (When the crude price went up, because the local price was kept artificially low, pinpoint sales patterns in specific industries such as gas stations indicated smuggling was going on.)

James Rose discussed the work of the Corporate Intelligence unit which collects and analyses information on entities and individuals from public and confidential sources to help clients understand who they are doing business with, comply with local and international laws, locate assets and individuals in the event of a fraud and gather evidential material for litigation or investigations
He talked about the relative challenges of performing these functions in emerging markets, where data is hard to find and often ‘people networks’ are important to uncovering intelligence and developed markets where data mining (often involving vast quantities of information) using many different computerised techniques is the key.

The seminar ended with a discussion of future research trends, and an invitation to help SECReT students to orient their projects on to real world problems.

KPMG Corporate Intelligence slides: UCL SECReT seminar

KPMG Forensic, Organised Crime and the Economics of Crime slides: UCL SECReT seminar