The scale and complexity of serious and organised crime, along with the money laundering of its proceeds, is increasing year on year. We work alongside criminal investigations teams to support their complex investigations, particularly those involving complicated financial aspects and large volumes of structured and unstructured data.
As the financial world develops and innovates, criminals are finding new ways to exploit weaknesses and circumvent safeguards. Investigating complex economic crime is a painstaking, resource-intensive task that increasingly demands cutting-edge tools and advanced forensic investigation and data analysis skills.
With complex cases, agencies often need expert surge support – access to experienced investigators with the skills, innovative technology and capacity to respond within tight timescales, often across multiple jurisdictions to drive insight quickly.
We have more than 20 years of experience supporting economic crime investigations – including money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, tachograph fraud, counterfeit goods and theft – providing rapid access to specialist forensic and intelligence analysis skills and technology. We have worked with a wide range of organisations including the National Crime Agency, regional police forces, the Criminal Assets Bureau, and the DVLA.
While we typically help with large-scale, complex cases involving multiple entities, accounts and jurisdictions, we can help with an investigation of any size and complexity.
A law enforcement agency believed that a business was being used to launder money by a criminal network that operated in a number of countries. We were called in to analyse and quantify its finances. The agency suspected that high value stock was being used as currency, so we traced stock seized in a seizure operation to the business’s financial books and records in order to identify the source of funds used to buy the stock, and determined where the stock was purchased. We summarised our findings in an Expert Witness report and a sworn Affidavit submitted to the court. Our client was successful in the initial confiscation proceedings relating to all assets included in our report.
A national police force had created a task force to investigate the main suspect in a money laundering network with a global reach, but it had been disbanded after a year because of the scale and complexity of the suspected activities. Five years later, and in the space of 18 months, we put together a 300-page expert witness report detailing the flow of funds into, within and out of the network. We quantified that the suspected funds laundered were worth around £215 million, making it one of the UK’s largest money laundering investigations.
We were asked to support an investigation into the illegal use of tachograph interruption devices – and in particular to design a solution that could identify illegal usage in more than 100 vehicles over a one year period. Traditional methods would have taken two officers up to a year to investigate, including overtime and weekend work. In under six weeks, we designed and created investigative dashboards which allowed the client to complete its review accurately in less than six months – saving more than £80,000 in costs.
Partner, Digital & Forensic Investigations, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7801 216737
Director, Digital & Forensic Investigations, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7841 563537