New arm for business in the fight against fakes

  • 11 October 2001

ICC Commercial Crime Services has launched a new forensic services arm which will provide scientific analysis to reveal even the most sophisticated fakes.

The new division will not only use cutting-edge technology to analyse the authenticity of documents and products, but will also be able to give the accompanying legal advice, and to draw on its library of past examples of counterfeiting cases and their outcomes.

This is a timely extension to the organization’s range of crime-fighting activities.

“As counterfeits get more sophisticated, businesses are increasingly needing to test for fakes”, said Peter Lowe, who runs the new service. “We now provide the equipment and the expertise to answer this need.”

According to Mr Lowe, the main activities of the new service include detailed analyses of holograms, packaging, handwriting and financial documents such as bills of lading – all of which can reveal clues vital to the detection of fakes and the eventual prosecution of fraudsters.

CCS expects a key role of the forensic services division to be the authentication of suspect documents in commercial transactions.

Banks, for example, often have to rely on little more than a signature as proof of a customer’s identity, making the transfer of large sums of money a risky business.

This is where CCS will step in, providing handwriting analysis to check the authenticity of the transferor, and advice on the identity of the person, together with other established due diligence services.

“The new service will boost the scope of our existing services,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of Commercial Crime Services.

“We believe it provides a good, cost effective way for many of our members to enhance their efforts to deter commercial crime, protect themselves against becoming victims, or defend themselves from accusations of wrongdoing.”

CCS say the new service will be particularly beneficial to its members operating in areas such as parts of Eastern Europe where access to trusted and reliable high tech forensic services is limited.

Law firms will be able to turn to the CCS forensic services division for evidence in relation to fraud and forgery cases.

As part of its recent developments, CCS has acquired a new machine that detects fake holograms. Whereas rival machines are limited to concentrating on a specific type of hologram, the Universal Hologram Scanner is the first of its kind to operate on holograms of all shapes and sizes.

The UHS provides a range of information to show differences between genuine and fake items. This can be used as forensic evidence to confirm or dismiss suspicions about the authenticity of a hologram.

“Together with CCS legal and technical expertise, and the advice of external consultants, this machine forms a valuable part of the new forensic services,” said Captain Mukundan.