Greylist Trace Limited
Founded in October 2017, the Company has developed an asset-tracing tool that can identify which of the world’s 275,000 banks a given email address has been in contact with. The Company’s software solution, ‘Greylist’, can detect if two parties have been communicating with each other via email, in a non-invasive and legal manner that is considered not to breach the misuse of computer or data protection laws. The Company states that its solution represents a major breakthrough for the investigations sector, especially with regard to asset-tracing. In a recent deployment, GreyList trawled 275,000 banks and unmasked six new banks being used by criminals to launder illicit funds.
The GreyList solution is able to check if one or more email addresses have been in contact with a specified mail server. On arrival at any given email server, the Greylist algorithm, packaged inside a proxy email, asks ‘Have I been here before?’. If the answer is ‘yes’ then this is positive evidence that both sender and receiver are, or have been, in communication with each other.
As reported in the ‘Recovering Stolen Assets: A Practitioners Handbook’ published in 2009 by the Basel Institute for Governance, a large portion of assets acquired through acts of corruption can never be recovered by victim countries for the simple reason: it was not possible to locate them.
To benefit from profit-generating crime, criminals are usually forced to launder the proceeds to hide the origins of such proceeds. If the investigator knows how and where to look, a connection between the criminals’ assets and their crimes can potentially be made. In addition to often providing evidence of criminal intent and identifying otherwise unknown accomplices, tracking the ownership trail may also lead to the seizure of property constituting illegal proceeds. In this context, integrated financial investigation is an essential element of any strategy for targeting proceeds from crime.
It is envisaged that, in the private sector, the GreyList solution could be of interest to investigators, divorce lawyers, and international law firms seeking to satisfy unpaid fines and judgements. In the public sector, GreyList could be of interest to police forces, the intelligence services, anti-terror units and tax inspectors.
Whilst not yet profitable, the Company is already revenue generating and is seeking funding under the Enterprise Investment Scheme, to fund the further development of the IP, specifically to expand the functionality of the solution e.g. to determine not just whether a connection has been made but also when it was made. Funding will also be employed to increase server capacity, as well as to establish the legal validity of the solution in other key non-UK jurisdictions.