SINGAPORE, 25 November 2021 – Singapore and the Netherlands have made a partnership to solve some of the world’s most complex commercial and governance challenges surrounding cross-border financial crime, crypto-related money laundering, criminal tools offering pseudo-anonymity, and cyber crimes such as ransomware and scams. Through a series of activities organized by the Partners for International Business (PIB) programme, both nations stand to benefit from knowledge- and experience-sharing, working towards the common goal of a safer cyberspace.
How the Partnership Benefits Both Nations
Among PIB’s initiatives is a series of roundtable discussions focused on combating financial crimes in the era of emergent and disruptive technologies. Since such cyber-enabled financial crimes involve different responsibilities from finance to law enforcement, and from criminological expertise to deep technology, combating these poses a multi-stakeholder challenge requiring the triple helix approach of collaboration between government, industry, and academia to develop innovative solutions.
Participants of the round table include government agencies such as the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore, and the Ministry of Justice and Security, National Police, and Public Prosecutors Office of the Netherlands. Other participants include ECXX, ABN AMRO Bank, Rabobank, CFLW Cyber Strategies, Merkle Science, TAU Express, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
“Due to the borderless nature of financial cyber crime, cooperation between nations is essential in order to effectively combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit activity. With the Netherlands’ reputation as pioneers in blockchain and Singapore’s aspirations to become the world’s first Smart Nation, it makes sense to bring together the insights and expertise of the two nations under a partnership in order to understand emerging challenges and discuss how to best use technology to combat technology enabled crime,” says Ian Lee, Founding Team & Associate Director at Merkle Science.
This forum is envisioned to build strong foundations of trust and confidence upon which to share mutual challenges and good practices, providing an open platform for counterparts to deliberate new perspectives, deepen understanding, and apply their expertise towards each others’ challenges. The discussions are held under the Chatham House Rule, such that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
Roundtable Meetings to Make the Partnerships Successful
As a result, the round table covers the views and expertise of participants on how to better combat crypto-related cyber financial crimes, and the practical operational and cooperation steps parties can take moving forward. The round table discussions are moderated by the Security Delta (HSD), who has published the position paper detailing the agenda priorities for the round table sessions. Through a voting process, the following priorities have been chosen as topics for the round table discussions:
● 11 November 2021: Virtual asset intelligence concerning financial crime, comprising anti-money laundering red flag indicators, collective transaction monitoring, blockchain data analytics, dark web intelligence, and smart analytics and AI to extract strategic insights and operational perspectives from large, distributed data sets in an efficient manner.
● 17 February 2022: Potential rewards of cross-functional collaboration, and the challenges faced in establishing trust, collaborating across different cultures, methodologies, and jurisdictions, and overcoming regulatory or information sharing hurdles.
● 12 May 2022: Importance of strong Know Your Customer (KYC) practices in guarding against the abuse or misuse of crypto, and competent methods to gather intelligence, incorporating holistic views and real-world identifiers, with benefits flowing downstream and accruing to transaction monitoring.
Dr. Mark van Staalduinen, Managing Director of CFLW, says, “Singapore and the Netherlands are both forward-thinking nations with high technological adoption rates, all with the goal of using blockchain for a safer cyberspace. By creating stronger partnerships between the two countries, even beyond the PIB programme, both will benefit from innovation and collaborative resources. At CFLW, we look forward to future round table discussions and establishing additional activities with Singapore-based partners and companies arising from this dialogue.”