John Powell, Joshua Hewson, Manuch Aminian

John Powell, Data Scientist, MSc, Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries
Joshua Hewson, Student, Williams College.
Manuchehr Aminian, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Cal Poly Pomona.


Abstract: Banks unknowingly process financial transactions relating to Modern Slavery ad Human Trafficking (MSHT) and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) enabling criminals to generate estimated profits of $160 billion p.a. from exploiting millions of individuals. Currently less than 1% of these transactions are being detected and only 0.2% of individuals in slavery are rescued. Legal requirements and financial incentives encourage financial institutions to withhold their data, limiting the visibility a single institution has on the wider network of associated financial transactions linked to a given entity. Most criminal activity is visible in the pattern of transactions rather than any one transaction, meaning no individual financial institution has the necessary information to understand the broader context of transactions passing through its customers’ accounts.  We have developed a proof-of-concept persona based statistical model of payments across different platforms associated with criminal and non-criminal entities. We use our model to illustrate the additional crimes which could be detected with secure data sharing in place between financial institutions.

Bio: John Powell is a data scientist at RedCompass Labs, a financial services firm based in London, UK. Prior to that, Powell was an Actuary at Aon, and has also worked at the Government Actuary’s Department. Powell completed his Master’s in Physics with Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. Joshua Hewson is a student at Williams College, where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Computer Science. Manuchehr Aminian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Cal Poly Pomona. Aminian completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Colorado State University, and his Ph.D in Mathematics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.