June 25, 2020
Governments across the world have stepped up the fight against money laundering and criminal financing in recent years, placing stricter regulations on companies and forcing them to become as transparent as possible as to revealing who actually owns them.
In recent years, the EU and many governments worldwide have stepped up their scrutiny of ultimate beneficial ownership of companies, cracking down on shell structures often used to launder dirty money through an unsuspecting international financial system.
Governments across the globe now require financial and non-financial entities to inform their clients with updated and accurate information with regards to ultimate beneficial ownership in order to provide them with peace of mind that they are not engaged in criminal activity such as laundering money.
But despite the crackdown, thousands of companies across the globe are still evading the requirement by authorities to identify and declare who their ultimate beneficiary owners are.
With organized crime and terror groups masking their true ownership of companies through a complex web of ownership structures, many anonymously owned and others owned by a group, in order to conceal the true identity of the ultimate beneficial owner in order to commit financial fraud or terror financing, there has been an increase in the drive to adopt intelligence-led approaches and solutions in order to deal with such illicit networks.
Though criminals may try to hide the ultimate beneficial owner, digital fingerprints can be tracked down online, and authorities can exploit the internet to their advantage to reveal hidden leads and connections.
But identifying the ultimate beneficial owners of a company is not as simple as just knowing the organizational structure of the company. By understanding the relationships among key executives and identifying who really makes the final decisions in the running of the company, such as appointing those key executives, may give an indication as to who is the ultimate beneficial owner.
Numerous web sources hold an unparalleled amount of hidden information, and by cross-analyzing dynamic sources, such as social media, whistleblower leaks, and investigative reports, alongside classic static sources, WEBINT can be used to identify ultimate beneficial owners of companies, and curb money laundering.
WEBINT sources like those mentioned above can provide analysts with a wealth of information, but analyzing the data in order to find the ultimate beneficial owner can be tedious and expensive.
Using Cobwebs’ WEBINT tools which can anonymously and automatically monitor and manage content from across all layers of the internet, analysts can analyze the technical details of electronic activity, behavior, and cyber information such as IP addresses, device indicators, and more, in order to gather an unmatched amount of critical intelligence.
With Cobwebs’ capabilities of automation, artificial intelligence (AI)and machine learning technologies, analysts are able to harness and leverage the vast volumes of data and intelligence they find in real-time in order to unmask the ultimate beneficial owners of companies before they can move even more dirty money.