Case studies
RFM solution helps Kazakhstan's Financial Monitoring Agency to combat economic crimes
The Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FMA RK) is a central government body directly subordinate and accountable to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, responsible for overseeing the fight against the legalization of proceeds from crime, as well as preventing, detecting, suppressing, uncovering, and investigating economic and financial offenses.

The Agency has two divisions: financial intelligence, which fights money laundering, and the economic investigations service – these are operational and investigative units that combat illegal business, fraudulent entrepreneurship, drug smuggling, illegal alcohol circulation, financing of terrorism, and more.

To simplify the labor-intensive process of identifying financial and economic crimes, relieve analysts from a large volume of manual work, and increase the crime detection rate, the agency has implemented an advanced analytical system - the RFM solution based on the Qlik platform from

The Financial Monitoring Agency deals with large volumes of unstructured data from various sources related to financial, credit, budgetary, tax, and customs activities. Before the implementation of the RFM solution, all analytical work to search for signs of possible violations was done manually. Specialized tools for processing and visualizing large datasets were absent.

This undoubtedly had a negative impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the work. It was necessary to implement analytical tools that would allow the development of flexible risk assessment criteria and automate internal business processes. The Agency paid special attention to the need for targeted work with risk groups, which helps protect law-abiding businesses and reduce corruption within government agencies themselves.
Unstructured information sources
Large datasets
Manual labor
Difficulty in data visualization
"Our agency was established recently, on January 28, 2021, based on the Financial Monitoring Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan. We have long been familiar with the RFM system from Datanomix: ever since Vitaliy Trenkenshu and his team implemented the solution in the General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan in 2017, and later - in other government agencies. We know what powerful capabilities it has for detecting and preventing illegal activities. Therefore, when our agency was created, we almost immediately turned to Datanomix to use these advanced technologies for the benefit of society."
Ruslan Ostroumov, Head of the Department of Prevention and Analytical Developments of the FMA RK

The Red Flags Management solution, customized for the Kazakhstan Financial Monitoring Agency, is an analytical solution based on Qlik platform that uses data analytics, business intelligence, and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to identify and assess risky financial transactions, pointing to financial and economic crimes of government and commercial organizations.

Advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence methods help automatically place red flags that indicate potential fraud, corruption, and other crimes.

Focusing the attention of law enforcement officers on companies with the highest likelihood of illegal activities allows investigative units to prioritize their efforts and uncover more financial and economic crimes.

The solution provides user-friendly dashboards, reports, and visualizations that help analysts easily view and analyze identified risks, prioritize actions, and track progress.

In total, about 200 dashboards have been developed for the Financial Monitoring Agency to help investigate various types of economic and financial crimes.
At the moment, the system uses 11 external and 3 internal data sources, including:
Government and special agencies databases
Internal data sources
Open sources
The system analyzes over a billion rows, with data uploaded to RFM daily.

According to FMA analysts, the analysis that used to take long hours or even days is now completed in 3-4 minutes, and Qlik's rich visualization helps present the results in a simple and clear format, convenient for every employee.
    The first direction for using the tool was to counteract shell companies, as they are the basis of the shadow economy. Typically, these are companies with a nominal director, carrying out fictitious mutual settlements. They are used for cashing out criminal proceeds, artificially increasing expenses, tax evasion, and embezzlement of budget funds.

    The system already contained signs of unreliable counterparties, such as the absence of employees, low tax burden, legal address at the mass registration site, lack of fixed assets and bank accounts, small authorized capital, and others.

    Initially, with the help of the RFM solution, all companies with large turnovers were analyzed for signs of unreliability. FMA analysts, together with experts, processed data for more than 2,000 unreliable firms with a turnover of over 3 trillion tenge (about 7 million dollars at that year's exchange rate). Information on these organizations and their financial transactions was uploaded into the system. Thus, a database of shadow flows throughout the country was formed.

    All companies were subsequently grouped by certain characteristics into 130 groups, which were transferred to investigative and operational units. By the beginning of 2021, the FMA had successfully liquidated 117 cash-out groups. Among them, 29 organized criminal groups were identified, and 8 of them received convictions.

    Practical example
    In 2021, a verdict was issued against a group of persons including Sugirbayev, Abdraimov, and five others, who, as part of an organized criminal group, created 21 companies, cashed out 1.4 billion tenge and caused damage to the state for 26 billion tenge.

"Thanks to the innovations introduced by, we can detect, transfer data to our special units and suppress the activities of organized crime groups causing damage to the state, including on an especially large scale"
Ruslan Ostroumov
    In the second stage, automated the analysis of procedural risks. These are risks such as:
    • non-competitive procurement
    • overpriced purchases
    • conclusion of additional agreements, repeatedly increasing the initial contract amount
    • signs of affiliation between participants and customers

    Procurement data is open and accessible to anyone on specialized websites. However, the Financial Monitoring Agency has access to additional sources and has more opportunities for analysis.

    Thanks to the integration of databases into a single analytical solution, the FMA can now identify the shadow component "on the fly" that is hidden behind overpricing, non-competitive single-source procurement, and other criminal machinations.

    The analysis of financial flows from identified shell companies and cash-out groups is now implemented on a FOLLOW THE MONEY basis. The FMA uses the RFM solution to identify theft channels and involved parties, and then transfers the detected criminal schemes to investigative and operational units for suppression.

    In addition to the mentioned risks, the system also allows identifying risks preceding theft at the procurement stage.

    Practical example
    In 2020, using the RFM solution, the FMA detected risks of theft through settlements with shell companies amounting to 1 billion tenge at the Semipalatinsk Machine-Building Plant (a state-owned enterprise specializing in the production of high-passability tracked vehicles and spare parts). As a result of the inspection, the fact of theft was confirmed. The crime was committed by inflating the cost of spare parts and supplying used spare parts, including tank engines, to various military units in the country. The plant's general director was sentenced to seven years in prison.

    Since 2021, the Financial Monitoring Agency has been working in the field of protecting citizens' rights, especially rights of socially vulnerable groups. The RFM solution is successfully used to prevent the theft of funds allocated to orphans and people with disabilities. In particular, the system allows monitoring bank accounts of children and analyzing procurement of children's institutions for signs of affiliation and overpricing.

    Practical example
    As a result of monitoring bank accounts of orphaned children, the theft of benefits in the Almaty Children's Home #1 was detected, amounting to 67 million tenge. It was found that money from the bank cards of 32 children was transferred to the bank account of the children's home teacher M.S. Mustafina and her relatives. Subsequently, part of these funds was cashed out and stolen, and part was spent on personal needs. The responsible parties - the director of the children's institution and the teacher - were held criminally responsible. The teacher was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

    Practical example
    Using the RFM solution, a theft of 26 million tenge was identified in one of Kazakhstan's children's homes, allocated for the purchase of food and personal hygiene products. All suppliers were affiliated with the institution's management, and products were often supplied at two to three times their actual cost. For example, the children's home purchased bath towels for 11,000 tenge, while their price at the time of purchase did not exceed 4-5 thousand tenge.

    In addition, more than 9,000 rye bread rolls were documented at almost 20 tenge each, which the supplier did not ship at all. According to the reports of the children's home, over a year, its wards (60 children) ate 2,200 kg of salmon (3 kg per person per month!). However, only 100 kg was actually delivered. The remaining 2,100 kg were fictitiously purchased from a cash-out group. Moreover, the FMA later found out that this money was legalized, and real estate was purchased with it.
Overall, using the RFM solution, we identified 29 theft schemes in the framework of protecting children's rights, with damages amounting to 510 million tenge, and initiated 53 investigations. As a result of such work, the rights of more than 1,300 children have been protected"
Ruslan Ostroumov
    With the help of the RFM solution, the agency began to analyze expenses in the field of cities electricity, heat, and water supply.

    Ruslan Ostroumov explains: "Theft of funds and overstatement of expenses at these enterprises lead to an increase in the cost of utility services for the population. Unscrupulous companies fictitiously increase expenses and include them in tariffs. We, ordinary citizens, compensate for the stolen money by paying our utility bills. To date, we have identified unjustified costs in the activities of 22 monopolists, resulting in tariff increases of 17 billion tenge. Investigations have been initiated in 37 cases, within which more than five billion tenge has been returned."

    Practical example

    In 2021, as a result of analyzing the activities of the JSC "TARAZENERGOCENTER" (energy company providing electricity and heat to the 560,000 citizens of Taraz, the city in southern Kazakhstan), mutual settlements with dubious suppliers were identified during its modernization.

    During the inspection, it was confirmed that the management of the energy company fictitiously purchased services for the repair of boiler equipment and a steam turbine from a one-day firm for 3.3 billion tenge. During the investigation, these costs were excluded from the tariff formation, and tariffs for thermal energy for Taraz residents were reduced by 15 percent.
"Overall, as a result of work in this direction, tariffs for heat, gas, water supply, and sewerage have been reduced for 1.3 million citizens of Kazakhstan. Our agency strives to ensure that the results of our work contribute to improving the social well-being of the population, including ourselves. And in this, the analytical solution from Datanomix actively helps us"
Ruslan Ostroumov

The Kazakhstan Financial Monitoring Agency uses the RFM solution in all areas of its work and notes outstanding results they have achieved in detecting financial and economic crimes. We are talking about millions of dollars that criminals spent on their own needs instead of feeding orphans, repairing boiler equipment to heat ordinary people's homes, or supplying quality spare parts for vehicles.

If you want to learn how the RFM solution can help you quickly identify risks and prevent illegal transactions, contact us.
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