Environmental Investigation Agency

IBM i2 solutions help investigate the illegal trading of ozone depleting substances

Published on 27-Mar-2013

"Analyst’s Notebook quickly identified and persuasively showed the patterns and linkages within truly enmeshed interactions, allowing us to produce a package to directly inform enforcement activity." - Charlotte Davies, Intelligence Analyst, EIA

Customer:
Environmental Investigation Agency

Industry:
Professional Services

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Overview

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organization pioneering the tactic of covert investigations – using hidden cameras – to gain evidence of illegal activities, such as illegal trading of ozone depleting substances (ODS). EIA disseminates investigation findings through security-enhanced channels to the appropriate enforcement agencies, to prompt them into taking action and launching their own investigations. Since 2006, EIA has used IBM® i2® software to organize and analyze their intelligence in order to present it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Business need:
After receiving a tip about ODS trafficking, EIA uncovered a potential smuggling operation that spanned over fifteen years and involved many players. They needed a solution that would help them simplify and share the complex ring with the appropriate authorities to break up the illegal trafficking operation

Solution:
IBM i2 software helped EIA dig deeper into a contemporary case of trafficking illegal ozone-depleting substance and unite new intelligence with that from investigations done over a decade previously – and to present a persuasive case for intervention to the agencies mandated with enforcing the law

Benefits:
The analysis and briefing reinforced EIA’s relationships with enforcement agencies and intergovernmental organizations across several countries. Ultimately, EIA provided the relevant information to the agencies that are empowered to investigate and, most importantly, prosecute this illegal trafficking scheme

Case Study

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organization which has pioneered the tactic of covert investigations – using hidden cameras – to gain evidence of illegal activities, such as illegal trading of ozone depleting substances (ODS). EIA disseminates investigation findings through security-enhanced channels to the appropriate enforcement agencies, to prompt them into taking action and launching their own investigations. Since 2006, EIA has used IBM® i2® Analyst’s Notebook®, IBM® i2® iBase and IBM® i2® TextChart to organize and analyze their intelligence in order to present it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Anonymous tip leads to investigation
In a recent suspected ODS trafficking case, EIA received a tip regarding an attempt to smuggle illegal CFCs, falsely labeled as “recycled”. Analysis of transactions between various companies revealed a complex and circular series of companies and transactions. This situation had several features which suggested collusion in illegal operations; for instance, despite the geographical divide, both the buying company and selling company shared personnel and associations. After digging a little deeper into old case files, EIA discovered it was not the first time they had come across some of the key individuals. These individuals were involved in trafficking cases from the mid 1990s and while the company names had changed, many of the remaining details matched. After adding a few aliases and more duplicate contact details, a comprehensive picture emerged which uncovered an intricate conspiracy, spanning over fifteen years and across continents, to illegally trade CFCs. EIA needed a way to share this information with the appropriate authorities so that they could take action.

Shared intelligence identifies long-running conspiracy
EIA decided the best way to simplify and supply various teams with this intelligence was with Analyst’s Notebook charts. Despite the complex and tangled connections, including both historical and contemporary features, Analyst’s Notebook helped EIA integrate and analyze intelligence from a range of sources. This helped EIA to connect transactions, personnel, aliases, associations and locations over a considerable temporal period, thereby simplifying complex data and highlighting critical connections. Previously, the nature of these criminal operations was difficult to communicate verbally or even in writing. Analyst’s Notebook helped EIA put this information in a format that was easier to share and digest - so the recipients were better able to infer the main players’ suspicious activities.

What had at first appeared to be an isolated case turned out to be a long-running conspiracy. This activity presented several conclusions. EIA utilized Analyst’s Notebook as a tool to unite its own research with previous investigation finding in order to more easily integrate diverse intelligence – along with hypothesized links based upon considered judgment – into a format that was simple to digest, concise and capable of being analyzed. Analyst’s Notebook helped EIA identify and persuasively show the patterns and linkages within truly enmeshed interactions of various types which in turn helped enable the production of a package that directly informed enforcement activity. This was crucial in this case as the user-friendly setup of the program also gave the project a faster turnaround. Finally, the case shows the utility that IBM i2 solutions offer in addressing a range of intelligence problems.

Collaboration produces desired outcome
The confidential brief was sent to a specialized UN coordinator where it was distributed onwards to relevant enforcement agencies in several countries. Now the case is currently under investigation. The provision of intelligence briefings reinforced EIA’s interactions with enforcement agencies and intergovernmental organizations across several countries. Given the transnational nature of environmental crime – and this case is one such example – it is unlikely that just one enforcement agency will be able to combat the issue alone. EIA believes that collaboration is a fundamental activity in the fight against this crime and has led by example. This case has also demonstrated the utility of software like IBM i2 solutions in highlighting the most appropriate targets for investigations, based upon intelligence. As a campaigning organization rather than an enforcement agency, EIA provided the relevant information to the agencies that are empowered to investigate and, most importantly, prosecute this trade. IBM i2 solutions helped EIA communicate directly and persuasively with these agencies in their language by providing information, making a case for action and showing the features of environmental crime in order to help institutionalize and encourage an appropriate, intelligence-led response to a burning issue.

For more information
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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
i2 iBase, i2 Analyst's Notebook, i2 Text Chart

Legal Information

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