CBI sets up specialist unit to track banking crimes and criminals


New Delhi: In the wake of the large-scale bank fraud the country has experienced in recent years, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), modeled on Interpol’s Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Center (IFCACC), will set up a technological center which will focus specifically on the discovery of economic crimes and the identification of the perpetrators and their modus operandi.
This specialized vertical, which will also employ private specialists, will use the latest technologies to sift through treasure troves of documents and layers to unearth the siphoning off of public funds.
This centre, named Centralized Technology Vertical (CTV), which will be part of the Fraud Analytics project, will operate from Delhi and will have an in-house central capacity to support specialist criminal investigations dealing with digital forensic analysis, forensic accounting and fraud. Analytic.
A brainchild of current CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, who has long worked with the Research and Analysis (R&AW) wing, the center will be equipped with state-of-the-art forensic tools needed for analysis of big data to identify patterns, leads, frauds, discrepancies and provide support for the investigation of complex cases. The center will also have a workforce trained in advanced levels of digital forensic analysis.
The tender for the establishment of this center was published on January 7 this year, exactly one month before the CBI went public with the ABG shipyard scam of Rs 22,000 crore. The CBI was first informed of this scam in November 2019.
Apart from this massive scam, the CBI is investigating the Rs 11,000 crore bank scam committed by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and other similar financial scams carried out by Vijay Mallya and the Sandesara brothers which involve embezzlement of public funds.
The CBI, without any visible results, has also been investigating the scam of multicrore funds like Narada for years now. The need to set up this centre, according to the CBI, has been necessitated by the complexity of economic crimes and financial crimes which have steadily increased over the years. According to the 2017 annual report, the CBI had registered a total of 1,076 cases. Of this total number of cases, 687 cases were handled by the Anti-Corruption Division, 195 by the Special Crimes Division, while the remaining 194 were handled by the Economic Crimes Division.
According to the CBI, these financial scams involve a multitude of entities through which a large number of financial transactions are carried out, criss-crossing geographical boundaries. Much of the evidence collected during these investigations is digital in nature, such as emails, text messages, audio, video and image files and other similar data on hard drives and other storage devices. storage. The CBI must also review call data, tower dumps, financial statements, bank transactions, etc., which takes months to analyze and arrive at a pattern.
Investigating such crimes requires sophisticated text mining, data analysis tools as well as the technical expertise to reconstruct transactions and provide insight into complex crimes and it is in this scenario that the CTV will enter. at stake, the CBI said.
Staff employed at the CTV, who will be individuals, will complement the team of investigators and assist them in financial analysis and provide data mining tools to support investigators in the analysis of large volumes of data from multiple and diverse data sources and structured as well as unstructured data. CTV will also obtain and maintain access to data sources, develop geographic expertise and access to international data sources.
It will also build and maintain a robust library to quickly reduce suspicious transactions and anomalies. The CTV will detect and establish a money trail, research multiple and diverse sources of information, including social networking sites, which investigators can analyze.
It will also develop specific geographic expertise in the context of fund flows to other countries, identify assets brought out of India by entities and individuals through proceeds of crime and also develop a repository of knowledge on fraudsters known, shell companies and suspicious individuals to provide additional information about an entity for future investigations.
One of the main requirements that the CBI is focusing on, under this CTV, is for data ingestion (DI) services. Under this, the data ingestion component will have to ensure that the case data obtained by the respective IO (Investigation Agent) is ingested into a central repository, which can then allow the CBI to arrive to a holistic view of the data for further analysis. . The data will be uploaded in a suitable format like POLE Framework (People, Objects, Location and Events) which allows the creation of master records for an entity.
Data ingested from various sources will then be analyzed to identify anomalies, patterns, clusters, entity network, and more. and provide support for the investigation of complex cases. The CYV will analyze the entries taking the help of subject matter experts.
Once the CTV is in place, in accordance with the CBI, it will increase the number of leads that can be opened up to an investigator compared to the current methods employed in investigations which involve identifying documents such as false invoices, false figures of cases, false accounting, false security document (legal documents, FDR, value note), operations on DEMAT account, etc., which help to discover the manifestations of the crime.
It will also enable data collection and analysis, provide a database for use in future cases, summarize understanding of the modus operandi used to commit a crime, and develop a typology [example, transfer of money abroad, cash withdrawal via multiple accounts, multi-layering of accounts]allow a semantic classification of the material and the elaboration of a lexicon over time.
This will, in the longer term, improve the quality and efficiency of specialized investigations by leveraging expertise and advanced technologies. CTV, according to CBI, will rapidly analyze digital evidence from a number of devices and reconstruct the sequence of events and identify those involved, work through multiple layers of the money trail, improve CBI’s ability to present the results in an easily understandable format in the courts, visually represent the complex analysis (timeline analysis, grouping of concepts) and document a clear link between the information presented and the original source and build internal capacity and become self-sufficient to conduct surveys by taking advantage of long-term technological advances.

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