A rise in financial crime and the increasing complexity of financial fraud in the Asia-Pacific region has led law enforcement agencies to embrace innovative tools and tactics to clamp down on criminal activity. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission estimates that organised crime costs Australia $A36 billion annually1. KMPG’s Fraud Barometer for Australia found that frauds perpetrated against government bodies were the primary concern in 2017, but fraud perpetrated by professional criminals is a growing problem2.
Technology is at the forefront of combating these kinds of fraud, says Ian Watson, CEO of leading British software company Altia-ABM which has established a new office in Melbourne to serve its growing customer base in Australia and New Zealand and to expand further into the Asia-Pacific region.
The Altia-ABM group develops and provides specialist software and services to facilitate financial and criminal investigations and the management of covert and intelligence operations. Altia-ABM products are used by every police force in the UK and many police forces and enforcement agencies in Central and South America, Hong Kong, the US and Canada. In Australia customers include the Australian Taxation Office, Australian Federal Police and the state police forces in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
Ian Watson, CEO of Altia-ABM said: “I am delighted to announce a very significant milestone for us, with the establishment of the new office in Australia where there is a clear and growing demand for the most advanced tools to combat crime.
“Our ambition is to become a truly global company and we see the Asia-Pacific region as a key driver for growth. We have a significant number of established customers in Australia and there is substantial interest in our products from across the region.
“Altia-ABM has grown significantly in the past two years with our specialist tools being used by professional investigators across the world.”
The team driving the launch and growth of the firm in the Asia-Pacific region are: Paul Hardman, National Australian Director, Altia-ABM PTY and a former police officer in the UK and Thomas Foo, Country Manager, Altia-ABM PTY who has extensive experience of customer relationship management in the Asia-Pacific region. A further two members of staff are currently being recruited in Melbourne.
Paul Hardman said: “The ability to capture, develop, sanitise and share intelligence between law enforcement organisations has always presented challenges. At Altia-ABM we are seeking to support organisations to achieve this, not only on a national basis, but internationally. By adopting a standardised approach through the use of our products, which can also be configured to capture additional specific ‘local’ requirements, we are providing the ability to share information securely and with confidence.
“Our products are in use in numerous countries, importantly including members of the Five Eyes (FVEY) Alliance and are delivering business benefits, in terms of time-savings, reducing duplication of effort and enhancing the ability to share information. This is a game changer in the detection of crime and successful prosecution of criminals.”
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, many local authorities, the Gambling Commission, plus forensic accountants and insolvency practitioners.
The firm has experienced very rapid growth in recent years. Turnover rose by 61% from £2.8m in 2016 to £4.5m in 2017. Between 2012 and 2017 the firm’s turnover grew by 600%. Altia-ABM established an office in Toronto, Canada in March 2017 and its customers in Canada include regional and national law enforcement agencies.