Software to be used in fight against terrorist financing in Middle East

1 Sep 2008

Financial crime technology player Norkom has landed a major contract with Dubai Islamic Bank – the world’s first fully-fledged Islamic bank – to roll out software to pinpoint and investigate potential criminal behaviour and eradicate terrorist financing.

Dublin and London-listed Norkom is one of Ireland’s most promising technology companies and has won major deals in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

This latest deal sees its anti-money laundering software deployed at Dubai Islamic Bank’s (DIB) operations in the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, which will monitor and analyse transactions and customer interaction across the entire customer base in order to identify and investigate suspicious and criminal behaviour.

The software will automatically alert DIB if any entity attempting to transact with it is listed on any of the bank’s numerous and diverse watch lists.

This will enhance the bank’s defences and protect it from exposure to sanctions and from inadvertently conducting business with known or suspected criminals or terrorists.

The technology rollout also includes a due diligence system that assigns risk ratings to customers at the point of opening an account and then continually reassesses their behaviour and alerts bank investigators if unusual or suspicious activity is detected.

“This initiative demonstrates DIB’s commitment to improve its defences against money laundering and terrorist financing,”explained Waheed Rathore, head of group compliance at the bank.

“It also reflects DIB’s belief that sustainable growth can only be achieved by maintaining high standards of regulatory compliance. Norkom was a natural selection for us not only for its proven technological and international capability, but its excellent business acumen and approach to cultivating close customer relationships.”

Norkom chief executive, Paul Kerley, said that winning business in the Middle East is the next logical step in the Irish company’s quest to become a truly globalised provider of financial crime technology.

“DIB selected Norkom after an extensive market review process, which included consultation with existing Norkom clients.

“Norkom invests as much time and effort in building close relationships with all its customers as it does in developing the best-of-breed financial crime and compliance software solutions. This deal represents a significant milestone for Norkom,” Kerley said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Dubai’s world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years