KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 ― Malaysia will be ramping up its crackdown on financial crime by harnessing the power of big data, while ensuring seized assets do not lie idle.
Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, CEO of the newly-formed National Anti-Financial Crime Centre’s (NAFCC), said the centre will usher in a “new dimension of collaboration and co-operation” among the country’s law enforcement agencies and government bodies with joint raids and information sharing.
Noting that illicit cigarettes can cause losses in tax revenue of around RM5 billion annually, Mustafar said this issue will be tackled together with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and other relevant bodies such as Companies Commission of Malaysia and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if necessary.
“We are not working in silos, we are not working as just only MACC or only Customs, but rather we are really working in an environment of collaboration and co-operation,” he told Malay Mail.
Even before the government formally establishes NAFCC through a new law, collaboration involving government agencies and statutory bodies has already begun, with officials working together under one roof in the NAFCC.
Officials in the NAFCC currently include Mustafar himself, representatives from Bank Negara Malaysia, the police, the attorney general’s office, the Companies Commission of Malaysia, Customs, Immigration department, Inland Revenue Board, with more expected to join from other government bodies.
Mustafar also plans to set up a “central intelligence database” at the NAFCC, which will compile existing data extracted from different agencies such as land ownership and vehicle matters from the land registry and the Road Transport Department, as well as financial information from the banking industry.
The NAFCC would then analyse the “big data” to identify the flow and illegal outflow of money, and to identify the modus operandi and perpetrators of financial crime.
With banks required to report to Bank Negara Malaysia if transactions exceed the RM25,000 threshold, Mustafar said the analysis of such data could prove useful.
When asked if the NAFCC may use artificial intelligence (AI) in its work, Mustafar replied in the affirmative, saying: “AI is a must because now we are talking about big data. We need to have all kinds of technology or ICT.
“Of course, AI is one of the elements we must have, even to the extent we are talking about Industrial Revolution 4.0, we must think big, but the capacity of course we try to develop,” he said.