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Sun 4 Dec 2005 04:00 AM

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Doha Bank acts on new rules to prevent money laundering

Technology that automatically detects money-laundering activities has been deployed at Doha Bank following tough new regulations by Middle East financial authorities.

TECHNOLOGY that automatically detects money-laundering activities has been deployed at Doha Bank following tough new regulations by Middle East financial authorities.

The bank is using Infrasoft’s OMNIEnterprise anti-money laundering solution which was implemented by systems integrator Imtac to stop terrorists, drug dealers and other organised crime members storing and transferring cash.

Doha Bank made the decision to automate its money laundering detection system following a ruling by the Qatar Central Bank making it compulsory for banks to put controls in place.

First Gulf Bank has also deployed OMNIEnterprise and Imtac is working with four other Middle East banks on similar implementations.

Money laundering activities are worth US$1trillion worldwide — and 30% of this revenue is estimated to come from the Middle East.

Krishna Kumar, head of IT at Doha Bank, said: “With the new regulations coming in from Central Bank to stop money laundering we needed to have a strong system in place to monitor transactions.”

“We don’t want to be part of any money laundering activities,” he said.

“They can use any bank for this and we don’t want to be identified or any of our customers or transactions identified as being associated with money laundering. If this happened it would be a serious issue, ” Kumar stated.

The system works by monitoring every customer transaction that takes place and checking it up against a set of rules established by the bank.

If a transaction does not comply with a rule it is deemed suspicious and is published in a daily suspicious transactions report.

The system also matches its transactions against a list of blacklisted names, such as known terrorists, which is held by the US-based Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

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