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SCOTTISH FIRM TACKLING CORRUPTION IN LATIN AMERICA

Altia-ABM, a Glasgow-based software company, has been tasked with helping fight corruption and fraud in Central and South America, in partnership with the UK’s National Crime Agency and Crown Prosecution Service. Altia-ABM is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist software and services to facilitate criminal and financial investigations.

The contract originated from Altia-ABM’s existing relationships with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), providing specialist software which is invaluable for their investigations. Both agencies have a long-term relationship with Altia-ABM stretching back many years and both have a network of international liaison officers to help combat serious and organised crime worldwide, which has a significant detrimental impact on the UK. Altia-ABM staff trained local officers on the ground in Panama, Colombia and Peru.

Ian Watson, CEO of Altia-ABM said: “Law enforcement agencies spend an ever-increasing amount of time combating crime at source because they know these activities have a devastating impact here. Our software is used by every police force in the UK and several government agencies for investigating criminal activity, following financial transactions, and compiling portfolios of evidence which can be used directly in court. We were delighted to be asked to help with these important projects and we are now translating our products into Spanish, for ease of use.”

In Panama the NCA’s International Liaison Officer was searching for new ideas, new technology and new systems to help the country’s police service to conduct more effective criminal investigations. The NCA recommended the use of Altia-ABM Investigation Toolkit and Financial Analysis Toolbar. The Panamanian police are now using both products with support and training provided directly by Altia-ABM staff.

In Colombia, the Fiscalia General de la Nacion, which is the equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service, and the police service are now using both products with support from the NCA and training provided by Altia-ABM on the ground. In Peru the use of Investigation Toolkit and Financial Analysis Toolbar was recommended by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service and has also begun to yield results.

Ian Watson continued: “Investigation Toolkit enables bank statements in any format to be converted immediately into Excel spreadsheets and the data rapidly analysed for evidence gathering. Using Investigation Toolkit is between eight and ten times faster than manually converting bank statements into a spreadsheet.

“Financial Analysis Toolbar is comprised of a collection of tools so that investigators can see all money flows, transactions and new bank accounts opened by an individual over months or years if necessary. The Toolbar then enables instant creation of charts, graphs, or summaries of transactions which can be shared with colleagues and used as the basis of a portfolio of evidence. In some cases, an investigation which would typically take three and a half days can be accomplished in 30 minutes.”

Altia-ABM was established in 2002 in Glasgow and has established a worldwide customer base. The group’s customers in the UK include every British police force, in addition to HMRC, the Department of Work & Pensions, the National Crime Agency, Trading Standards, local authorities, the Gambling Commission, plus forensic accountants and insolvency practitioners.

The firm’s rapid growth is enabling further expansion to customers in Canada, Australia, South Africa, the USA, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South America.

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