CRI® Group’s 3rd ABAC Summit 2019 Sets the Tone at the Top

CRI® Group, a global leader in risk and compliance hosted the “3rd Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit 2019” in association with ICCI, GPCCI, Bank Al Habib, Transparency International Pakistan, ACFE Corporate Alliance USA, ICA and Fraud Advisory Panel UK. The one-day event was held in Islamabad, Pakistan, marking a return to Pakistan for this annual event that debuted in Karachi in 2017 (last year’s ABAC Summit 2018 was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

The Summit embraced the theme of “Setting the Tone at the Top” for sharing invaluable expertise in due diligence, internal controls and compliance issues, along with showcasing the latest resources and solutions to detect and prevent bribery and corruption. The main aim of the event was to provide guidance and training that enables business sectors to fight malpractices and learn about the latest resources and solutions to detect and combat bribery and corruption within the organisation.

A large number of CEOs, CFOs, directors, compliance and legal officers, lawyers, and due diligence and risk management professionals from leading corporate entities who attended the ABAC Summit were there to gain invaluable expertise from distinguished expert speakers and share their knowledge with the participants.

Mr. Zafar I Anjum, CEO of CRI® Group:

CRI® Group founder and CEO Mr. Anjum provided the introductory welcome. During his speech, Mr. Anjum highlighted that “Systematic corruption continues to be a substantial obstacle in both the public and private sectors nowadays. Corruption is a cultural issue that will only change as future generations are made aware of the detrimental impact of corruption in our society. The most powerful tool an organization can use to demonstrate ‘adequate procedures’ as an effective bribery defense and deterrent is ISO 37001. ABAC® Centre of Excellence works to educate, equip and support the world’s leading business organizations with the latest in best-practice due diligence processes and procedures, not only in Pakistan but around the globe”.

Mr. Drago Kos – Keynote Speaker, Chairman of Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions at Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development:

Mr. Drago Kos highlighted that “in 41 percent of cases, management-level employees paid or authorised the bribe, whereas the company CEO bribed in 12 percent of cases.” He also added that “organizations where leadership, management and workforce do not take corruption seriously will never be adequately protected from risk” Mr. Kos urged businesses to apply disciplinary procedures against breaching ethics and compliance programs and anti-corruption measures. CEOs and managers face increased pressure to prevent bribery and corruption and maintain compliance. They also “influence everything by their management style, and are role models for their employees”, therefore, setting an ethical “Tone at the Top” is hugely important.

Dr. KM Loi Vice-Chairman of ISO/PC 278 (ISO 37001:2016), Co-convenor of ISO/TC 309 WG2 (ISO 37001 Handbook)

Dr. KM Loi was part of a Project Committee which was responsible for the design and development of ISO 37001:2016 – Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) standard. Dr. Loi spoke in depth about the threat of bribery and corruption, and how a management system like ISO 37001:2016 can help an organisation remain better protected and in compliance. “Bribery is one of the greatest challenges to international development and poverty relief” Dr. Loi said.

“According to OECD, estimates show that the cost of corruption equals more than 5 percent of global GDP”, Dr. Loi said (this equates to US $2.6 trillion, according to the World Economic Forum), “with over US $1 trillion paid in bribes each year”, (according to the World Bank). “It is not only a question of ethics; we simply cannot afford such waste. This is money that could have been spent on improving life for millions if not billions of people”

Mr. Mian Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh – Senator:

Mr. Senator took a part in presenting his thoughts on bribery & corruption at the ABAC summit. He said, “bribery and corruption is eating away Pakistan’s foundation. Our country is unfortunately way down on the ladder on this account. Corporate Research and Investigations (CRI Group) is taking actual encouraging procedures to fight against bribery and corruption. The administration sector should come up with strong compliance and legitimate regulations and take apart in the fight against this white-collar crime”. He also addresses, “NAB plays a very important role in fighting against serious corporate crime. The present government should bring strong control in compliance management system, he also said “We can save the future of our generation by fighting the corrupt practices today”.

Mr. Irfan Naeem Mangi, Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB):

The speaker presented the national efforts against corruption and an overview of NAB: “Rigorous imprisonment up to 14 years, imposition of fine not less than the illegal gain, immediately cease to hold public office, disqualified for 10 years from holding public office, no financial facility / loan allowed for 10 years” this is how sections 10, 11 and 15 of NAO 1999 deals with punishment of corruption and corrupt practices.”

Mr. Faisal Anwar, Independent Consultant/Adviser & Trainer:

Mr. Faisal Anwar discussed the role of ethics and compliance culture with focus on the banking sector of Pakistan. “A good culture is about more than ensuring good people don’t do bad things – it’s about enabling good people to do better things” (Alison Cottrell, CEO, Banking Standards Board, UK) – the quote illustrated anti-bribery and anti-corruption risk management strategy. “The strategy should consist of policies, risk assessments, remedial actions, training and communication, culture, controls and oversights, business parties and third-party monitoring”, Mr. Anwar suggests.

Mr. Uzair Ahmed Certification Manager at ABAC® Center of Excellence:

Mr Uzair presented the concept of ISO 37001 and the certification process overview. “The organisation can choose to implement this anti-bribery management system as a separate system, or as an integrated part of an overall compliance management system. The organisation can also choose to implement this anti-bribery management system in parallel with, or as part of, its other management systems, such as quality, environmental and information security”, Mr. Uzair explains.

Mr. Shauzab Ali, Commissioner Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan-SECP (Specialized Companies Division, Securities Market Division, Anti-Money Laundering Department:

Mr. Ali discussed the issued Corporate Governance Frameworks issued by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. He also highlighted one of the main responsibilities, power and functions of the Board: “the Board shall also develop and implement a policy on “anti-corruption” to minimise actual or perceived corruption in the company. Development of whistle-blowing policy and protection mechanism” – Mr. Ali lists.

Mr. Azhar Zia Ur Rehman, Governance Consultant:

The speaker presented the practical road map for implementing the Anti-bribery Management System. “Set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organisation, establish anti-bribery policies and anti-bribery objectives and processes to achieve those anti-bribery objectives”. The detailed process was discussed which will ensure organisations for the successful ABMS implementation.

Benefits to Attendees

Apart from the speeches of the distinguished experts, the summit included highly informative work sessions, group discussions, Q&A periods and plenary sessions to address the many challenges being faced by the corporate world. A post-event survey of the attendees found that 82 percent face challenges raising awareness amongst employees about anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures. They are doing something to remedy that, however 88 percent said they are looking to implement ABMS certification and/or ABMS training at their organisations within the next six months.

Mr. Zafar Anjum thanked the government officials, speakers and participants of the event for taking corruption and bribery as a serious issue and joining hands with CRI® Group to share knowledge and expertise. Mr. Anjum has dedicated over 30 years to the areas of fraud prevention, protective integrity, security and compliance. His expertise helps create secure networks across challenging global markets. Attendees noted their overwhelming satisfaction with the event in the survey results, and CRI® Group is already looking forward to hosting another successful ABAC Summit in 2020.

CRI® Group is pleased to announce the upcoming Anti-Bribery 2018 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 25 September 2018. This is the second year for the ABAC Summit, providing invaluable expertise in due diligence, internal controls and compliance issues, along with showcasing the latest resources and solutions to detect and combat bribery and corruption within organisations.

The one-day summit is a must-attend event for anyone working in anti-bribery and anti-corruption, due diligence, risk management, and anti-fraud such as CEOs, CFOs, Chief Legal Officers, Chief Compliance Officers, In-house Counsels, Compliance Managers, Lawyers and Auditors, Heads of Procurement and Other officers responsible for Compliance and Anti-Corruption.

Last year’s Anti-Bribery Summit was a great success, with critical topics presented by leading experts in anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance. This year aims to be even better, with an agenda that includes the following highlights:

  • A welcome introduction by Zafar Anjum MSc, CFE, Intl. Dip. (Fin. Crime). As founder and CEO of CRI Group, Zafar Anjum has dedicated 28 years to the areas of fraud prevention, protective integrity, security and compliance. His expertise helps create secure networks across challenging global markets.
  • Mohd Nur Lokman Bin Samingan, Assistant Commissioner at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), will present “MACC (Amendment) Act 2018: Section 17A, ‘Offence by Commercial Organization’”. Mohd Nur Lokman Bin Samingan has vast experience as an investigator and a prosecuting officer, and is currently attached to the Community Education Division of MACC as the head of Private Sector Branch. He engages business entities, corporations and private companies in cultivating anti-corruption awareness.
  • Dr KM Loi, Vice-Chairman of ISO/PC 278 (ISO 37001:2016), Co-convenor of ISO/TC 309 WG2 (ISO 37001 Handbook), will present “ISO 37001:2016 – Management Tool to Address Corporate Liability Provision”. Dr KM Loi is an anti-bribery expert with 20 years of management skills in quality consulting, training and auditing with wide exposure to various industries in the context of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485, IATF 16949, ISO 26000, ISO 37001, SA8000 & OHSAS 18001.
  • Drago Kos, Chairman of Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development, will present “Corporate Integrity Guarantees Prosperity”. Drago Kos is the Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, Co-Chair of the Defence Corruption Monitoring Committee in Ukraine and adviser to the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency.
  • Cristian Nicoara, Independent Expert Consultant; Justice, Anti-Corruption, and Security Sector Reform Adviser, will present “Anti-Corruption Agencies are Fighting an Imbalanced Battle. Where to Find the Allies?” Cristian Nicoara is a former Romanian investigative prosecutor with 15 years specialisation in major crimes, anti-corruption and financial investigations.
  • Md Alimuddin Rahim, Group Integrity Officer at Petra Energy Berhad, will present “Role of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Foundation (NGO) in assisting Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)”. Md Alimuddin Rahim has more than 20 years’ experience in his industry – he is the Secretary General at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Foundation and also works as Group Integrity Officer at Petra Energy Berhad.
  • Presenter Cynthia Gabriel, Executive Director at The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center), human rights advocate and anti-corruption leader in Malaysia will present “New Lessons from 1MDB: The evolving actors in modern money laundering”. Cynthia Gabriel has experience advancing and promoting human rights, good governance and democratic freedoms. She founded the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), a NED grantee, which works to promote good governance and conducts a multifaceted project designed to encourage public participation in efforts to combat corruption.
  • A special panel discussion and Q&A session will feature all of the keynote speakers.
  • An hour at the conclusion for additional networking among attendees, with refreshments provided.

CRI® Group founder and CEO Zafar Anjum said that after the success of last year’s inaugural event in Pakistan, he is excited about the second Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “This year’s agenda was developed to provide you with invaluable information and foresight into the forces that guide and dictate our everyday work life: the ongoing quest for solutions, balance, and insight into the oftentimes chaotic world of anti-bribery and corporate corruption compliance”, Anjum wrote. This is a critical time for world markets and economies. The latest Corruption Perceptions Index shows that “most countries around the world are making little or no progress in ending corruption” (Transparency international, titled “Corruption perception index 2017”, 2018).

That’s why the expertise, best practises and resources shared by the leading industry experts at the ABAC Summit are more important than ever. In the Asia Pacific region alone, the majority of countries are in the lower half of this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index. This is because bribery is still a key problem, made worse by unaccountable governments, lack of oversight, instability and insecurity. There are positive signs as well. Officials in Malaysia, the host country of this year’s ABAC Summit, have made strides in the fight against bribery and corruption. According to MACC, 879 offenders – from top management to lower level staff, in both the public and private sectors – were arrested last year. This demonstrates Malaysia’s commitment to bringing offenders to justice.

Time is running out to make your plans to attend ABAC 2018 and get an edge on the latest best practises, laws, regulations and compliance, presented by the foremost experts in the field. Meet the colleagues you networked with at last year’s event; or make new connections with CEOs, CFOs, other executives, directors, lawyers, auditors, legal officers, compliance officers and others who face the same anti-fraud and anti-corruption challenges as you.

The first ABAC Summit Pakistan 

On Thursday, 26 October, the region’s leading anti-fraud professionals gathered in Karachi, Pakistan, for CRI® Group’s Anti-Bribery Summit 2017. CRI® Group took the initiative to organize the first Anti-Bribery Summit in Pakistan with the goal to redefine the anti-bribery culture within organisations in the country.

The Anti-Bribery Summit couldn’t have come at a more critical time, or have been held in a more relevant location – Pakistan is on the front lines of a struggle between those who willfully engage in bribery and corruption, and those who endeavor to put a stop to it. But the problem of corruption is worldwide, affecting government, military and public sector organisations. The Anti-Bribery Summit 2017 included sessions on compliance for the most significant international laws and regulations, including a Q&A session with an expert on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Attendees also learned about compliance pitfalls, and how to engage in proper third party due diligence to keep their organisations safe from unethical partners that could hurt the organisation’s reputation and bottom line. “It was good to see international speakers from UN and OECD on the practices being used and available standards for comparing our policies and procedures,” said Riaz Nazarali Chunara, Director, State Bank Of Pakistan.

The Anti-Bribery Summit brought together some of the greatest minds in the fight against corruption, with a lineup of expert speakers that shared their experiences, knowledge and best practices with an attentive audience.

Keynote speakers included Drago Kos, Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions and Co-Chair of the Defence Corruption Monitoring Committee in Ukraine and advisor to the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency (see an exclusive video interview with Drago Kos about the Summit); Jouhaida Hanano, Criminal Justice Advisor – Sub-Programme II, UNODC Pakistan; Shehzad Yousuf, Chief Internal Auditor at PTCL; Tariq Hussain, Former Director / HOD Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) – Supervision and Enforcement and Company Law Division; Ali Anwer Adil, Head of Internal Audit, Fraud Management and Revenue Assurance at Zong; and Ghulam Farooq, Director at The National Accountability Bureau.

“(It was) a wonderful conference on anti-bribery held by CRI®,” said Muhammad Nauman Ahmed, Head of Compliance at PEL. Ahmed said the “most amazing part” was that “OECD Anti-Bribery chairman Mr. Drago Kos and Director NAB, Sindh attended the conference.”

“SECP representatives were also present,” Ahmed said, calling it a “great event” for learning about the most current practices to counter bribery in Pakistan.

Featuring keynote addresses, Q&A sessions, trainings and a panel discussion, the Anti-Bribery Summit addressed topics critical to any organization leader or executive in the region including anti-bribery compliance issues, strategies, the FCPA and UK Bribery Act, the corporate culture in Pakistan, conducting proper risk management and due diligence.

“It was a really good event, very well organized and an excellent learning experience,” said Yousuf Ali, Executive Manager, Assurance, EY Ford Rhodes. “My team and I at Ernst & Young thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the presentation from Mr Shehzad Yousuf.”

“We are looking forward to other such events,” Ali said.

CRI® Group thanks all of the attendees, speakers and everyone involved in making the Anti-Bribery 2017 an unmatched success.


About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organizations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.


Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (, a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organizations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.


Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

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