What is the title of your thesis? Who are your supervisors? When did you start your doctoral research?
Title: The Evolving Nature of Financial Crime with the Increase of Internet Capabilities. Challenge Identification, Legal Considerations, and Recommendations.
Supervisor: Dr. Colin King
Started research in early 2019 when doing the proposal. Started heavy research in the end of 2019.
Tell us about your thesis.
I am looking at emerging technologies and their effect on the sophistication on money-laundering and cyber-laundering. With globalization, financial inclusion has been driven in large part by emerging technologies. The international and national regulatory environment however can either help this objective of financial inclusion, or impede on it, whilst driving healthy financial traffic away from certain regions, and increasing traffic of usage of such technologies for illicit means and ends in some select regions. A balanced approach is needed to reduce counter-productive regulation while countering emerging trends of financial crime. With technology, the automatic concern of consumer privacy and identification storage arises, which complicates the capabilities of enforcement agencies to supervise/enforce, or financial institutions to report. This also effects political institutions and their efficacy in striking the right balance for resource allocation.
What motivated you to study that topic? Why is that research important?
My background in the Law Enforcement industry as well as the financial industry, alongside my current legal industry galvanized me to pursue this topic. Financing, Capital and Labour markets are important for financial institutions to be healthy and support a nation’s economy and livelihood. The crimes committed are incentivized through the revenue they bring; which criminals pursue in hope of not getting caught. This is a human right’s issue. Creative trends to use/launder proceeds of crime not only affect a nation’s stability from the ground level but also the fundamental structure, confidence and capabilities of financial institutions to be a bedrock for the current global economy. This in turn leads to trade effects, national security, and the overall place of a nation in the world. Financial crime is an incentive for committing the predicate offence, otherwise a criminal would not commit if there was no reward. Technological tools of financial transactions further present an incentive through their means, so proper mechanisms should be in place to act as a deterrent in order to blunt criminal activity.
What did you do before starting your PhD at IALS?
I was in the law enforcement industry, then financial industry and I am now currently in the legal industry.
Why did you choose to study at IALS for your PhD? What do you most enjoy about IALS?
IALS is an exclusively graduate and postgraduate institution. Its niche in higher education is what attracted me to pursue higher education here. If one desires to learn a topic, they go to a specialist in the select topic. Therefore it made sense to me that to pursue a PhD, I must go to an institution which specializes in Doctoral research.
I absolutely enjoy and have been extremely impressed by the vibrant intellectual community. A diverse array of scholars who support each other in the purist of knowledge. The scholars at the institution have been very generous with regards to research support and encouragement. The library is very impressive as well. The bank of information is very insightful.
What do you hope to do at the end of your PhD?
I hope to publish a book about my thesis in order to make an original contribution to knowledge for future scholars to use as a benchmark for their research. I hope as well to use my research for substantive positive policy influence whether in the national or international arena. I also hope to one day be a Fellow or a Professor.