FollowTheMoney Reference DocumentationΒΆ

FollowTheMoney (FtM) is a data model for anti-corruption investigations. It contains definitions of the entities relevant in such research (like people or companies) and tools that let you generate, validate, and export such data easily. Entities can reference each other, thus creating a graph of relationships.

FtM can be used in three contexts: as a command-line utility, a Python library and as a TypeScript/JavaScript library. The ontology defined by FtM also includes a model for various types of documents that might be used as evidence in investigations 1.

All data stored by the Aleph search engine is expressed as FtM entities. Aleph itself merely adds functions for searching, viewing and manipulating such entities. It also introduces higher-level notions of datasets and access control.


The Aleph toolchain includes a separate project, ingestors, which can extract and analyse the content of many document types and emit them as FtM entities. For example, if you were to process an archive of emails, it would generate a complex graph of E-Mail entities that connect the people sending and receiving them.