Data mining predicts patterns through electronic data base technologies like statistical analysis and modeling.  Some U.S. law enforcement agencies data mine to predict the criminal patterns of money launderers, terrorist financiers or other criminals.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security for example, mentioned the following four data mining programs in its February 11, 2008 Letter Report to Congress:

  • “ATS”: Automated Targeting System Inbound and Outbound Cargo Analysis, at Customs and Border Protection;
  • “DARTTS”: Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System, at Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • “FAS”: Freight Assessment System, at the Transportation Security Administration;
  • “NETLEADS”: Law Enforcement Analysis Data System, at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Financial Intelligence Units such as U.S. Treasury’s FinCEN, also specifically use data mining to combat financial crimes.  FinCen has worked on data mining projects with the help of the following companies: Oracle Corp.; SPSS, Inc.; SGI; Visual Analytics Inc.; and Nautilus Systems, Inc.  FinCEN has also expressed its continued interest in data mining at pages 52 & 62 of its FY2007 Annual Report.

Among other things, data mining helps Financial Intelligence Units and government asset recovery agencies conduct asset searches / interdict illegal assets.  One way Financial Intelligence Units can interdict illicit assets, is to use goATR / goAML asset recovery software.  This kind of software analyzes financial transactions and may detect illicit assets subject to asset forfeiture proceedings.

(Last Edited September 6, 2010)

Copyright 2008 Fred L. Abrams