Tackling corporate fraud in the Middle East

Tackling corporate fraud in the middle east has become even more challenging during the pandemic. ICAEW Insights sat down with our founder and chief executive, Zafar Anjum, to discuss the rising levels of corporate fraud in the middle east during the pandemic.

Find out how CRI is using AI to investigate wrongdoing; from fake degrees and doctored CVs to false insurance claims and bogus bills, our corporate fraud investigators in the Middle East have seen it all. Zafar told ICAEW his firm was busier than ever as the pandemic triggered a rise in white-collar crime cases across the region.

From its base in London, CRI has been helping firms in middle east regions like Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. Regions where anti-fraud frameworks are still being built out inside the embryonic corporate regulatory regimes that govern the Middle East.

“We’ve seen a lot of insurance fraud claim investigations, fake bills, fake debts and fraudulent certificates designed to cheat insurance companies,” Zafar said. “Covid allowed internal controls to be relaxed; people are working from home, so the usual check and balances are missing.”

Nascent regulatory regime

Last year, PwC research found corporate fraud was on the rise across the region, with nearly half of all local companies reporting at least one occurrence in 12 months. Zafar said the lack of counter-corruption model legislation such as the UK Bribery Act 2010 often meant policing the business areas such as the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) fell to private companies as the regulator doesn’t have the resources to cover the scale of the problem. 

“In the Middle East, the issues relating to fraud and corruption are of concern because there isn’t the legislation when compared to developed countries. The definition of fraud and fraudulent activities are different across the Middle East,” he said. 

The DIFC was established in 2004 to create a safe and constant upward regulatory environment for companies to do business. One of its aims was to attract investment from London and Wall Street firms and other corporates from both continents. A regulator was created to monitor the market, and the set-up was replicated for the Abu Dhabi and Qatar financial business districts. 

The economic “free zones” have relied on firms themselves to help shape the regulatory framework, Zafar said, which has created a mixture of frameworks as standards are broadly aligned with the UK or US markets.

“It’s not national-level legislation, which carries its own problems. There have been scandals, and a lot of that centres on fraudulent financial statements, investment scams,” Zafar said. “A prevalent problem is vendor/third-party screening and false claims, especially during the bidding process. Some firms exaggerate their capabilities and are not able to deliver.”

Investor scams on the rise

A big part of CRI’s work is analysing financial statements, checking backgrounds, and working with compliance teams to root out bad actors. Zafar said investors scams were also on the rise across the UAE; because the country is ripe for development, some fraudsters had found it easy to prey on foreign victims who are drawn to the opportunities but unwilling to carry out proper due diligence. 

The UAE’s family offices are a driving force of industry, and the name carries significant weight regarding deals. “It’s very risky to invest without carrying out the proper checks, and unfortunately, a lot of people come in blind,” Zafar said.

“Fake property claims are rife. It can be individuals who are targeted or small groups of foreign investors. One case involved a handful of US investors who wanted to invest in some economic and humanitarian projects. They wanted to create jobs, other activities, but fell in with people who weren’t with the families they claim to be a part of.”

Family names are often taken by scammers and used to convince investors to part with their cash fairly frequently, Zafar said. Because many people don’t care about due diligence, it can end up costing millions of dollars,” he said. “It’s so hard to recover the money, to catch the fraudster. If the victims don’t have local consultants or experts, it can be hard to trace back and recover the damages.”

An investor group puts its trust — and its funds — in the hands of an outside business partner without considering a due diligence check on the individual.

Eighteen months into the partnership, the individual has succeeded in fleecing the group of more than $6 million and is still at large. Investigators such as CRI are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to help with screening. Zafar said great strides had been made in tackling corruption and bribery.

Public and private investigation partnerships

Databases of politically exposed individuals, or persons with links to crime, on watchlists or have criminal activity linked to their name or accounts are rapidly being populated for use by regulators and private investigators. 

“We’re trying to prove that there is a role for AI in detecting crime and that it can be a part of the investigative process. Machines will scan publicly available databases, criminal cases and the like, and we can check if firms have been blacklisted by authorities such as the Asian Development Bank, IMF or World Bank, which is really helpful.”

In the past, these checks would have to be carried out by hand, one by one. “It’s hard, almost impossible! Name matches are probably the largest problem in the Middle East.

You cannot find a person with the first name Mohammad or last name Khan; you’ll get billions of matches, so we need to develop a database that builds on this with other information. There isn’t a nationwide electoral database in any Middle East region, so you can see how much work still has to be done.”

Credit history, employment checks and previous addresses are a handful of ways the files can be built out, Zafar said, and his team is working on ways to streamline that process. There was no concept of background screening in 2008 when Zafar’s team started, and despite having come a long way, he said they still encounter fraud on a massive scale. However, they still encounter fraud on a huge scale, he said. 

Alarming numbers

“Sometimes applicants try to falsely fill the gap in their CV, which is dangerous because we don’t know if they’ve spent time in jail,” he said. “More common red flags are fake degrees and fake previous employment references. We found one in 20 applications for a job had fake degrees, experience letters, or fake references in some regions. It’s a huge number, and some of the universities were prestigious too, which makes it quite alarming.”

Another big area of focus is auditing gifts and donations passed through a company concerning projects carried out. His team works with companies to ensure their anti-bribery controls are as robust as possible, given the tough penalties on offer. 

“It’s a criminal liability for a company, and the directors will be liable if they don’t have the proper anti-bribery procedures in place,” Zadar said. “Accounts and financial teams are critical to making sure firms have proper internal controls.”

CRI is also on a mission to stamp out “box-ticking” compliance, which has traditionally been a problem across the Middle East due to the nascent regulatory framework. “If you’re conducting audits, nothing will happen if this is the way; you’ll never spot the problem,” he said. “The role of accountants, whether internal or external, to shape the controls and make sure they are implemented effectively.”

He said bribery through sales commissions, waste for public service, sexual extortion or sextortion as a form of corruption could be rife in some sectors. It was up to companies to ensure money wasn’t being paid outside official channels to staff. 

“We understand it’s a process for some firms who are not used to doing it this way, but we’re here to help,” he said. “Companies need to establish their compliance documentation and make sure it’s up to the standard. The most important areas are due diligence and anti-bribery policies. This should not be a paper-based box-ticking exercise, it has to be implemented, and every employee must know the company believes in zero-tolerance of corruption.” 

Visit ICAEW’s Fraud hub for related articles and case studies, or to see the original article, click here

Meet our CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer (t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com) of CRI Group, a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.

Headquartered in London and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI Group safeguards 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.

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 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 Systems, ISO 37301:2021 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. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training

 

How to conduct background screening in the Middle East?

Background screening is critically important for business worldwide. Providing such service is a complex process, and it is different for every country and region. In the United States, investigators have a web of databases at their disposal and a vast network of local resources that provide a wealth of information at the mere click of a mouse. It’s a different world in the Middle East. Technology is limited in many parts of the region.  Privacy legislation varies from country to country and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Cultural differences can impact the flow of information. Language barriers can contribute to inaccurate reporting.

Background Screening in the Middle East

Instead of database-driven investigations like those conducted in the U.S, professionals in the Middle East must conduct large parts of their investigations literally on foot, travelling to remote regions to scour records and interview sources. If you’re looking for accurate, reliable information in the Middle East you need to turn to qualified, professional sources that are familiar with the countries, cultures, terrain, languages, resources and – most of all – the laws that govern personal privacy. In this part of the world, your contacts and resources are your greatest assets.

Discovering Hard-to-Find Facts in Hard-to-Reach Locations

The biggest challenge in conducting background investigations in the Middle East is collecting reliable information most efficiently. This requires a well-trained and diverse group of professional investigators who are multilingual and multi-cultural, are familiar with those geographic regions and can easily traverse the obstacles that often impede international investigations. Those obstacles include:

  • Working with local customs offices.
  • Complying with data protection laws and mandates.
  • Knowledge level of local investigative researchers.
  • Lack of centralised information resources and databases; and
  • The proliferation of multicultural environments that are particularly influenced by locals who vastly differ in their approaches to investigative screening and public record searches, particularly with information collected via database sources.

The Obstacle of Background Investigators in the Middle East

To address these obstacles, successful background investigators in the Middle East are often required to work deep in the field, travelling to remote destinations to conduct interviews, develop resources and enlist local assistance to verify the information. Leading background screening firms will conduct investigations that regularly involve a thorough review of local press records, using online and proprietary databases augmented by manual field research to locate the appropriate public records.

This in-depth investigative approach is necessary to bring to light any instances of malfeasance or notable, publicly aired criticism. These professionals will also research all public records that are available within the respective government institutions such as a region’s trial courts, police and SEC sources, and global sanctions lists. The goal of providing this level of investigative legwork is to collect timely, well-documented and substantiated information which will measure up to the high standards often required by our U.S. partners.

Partner With Reputable Background Screening Firms in the Middle East

As the world economy shrinks and the pool of foreign job applicants expands, a partnership with a reputable international employee screening service provider to conduct investigations abroad is essential for maintaining a safe hiring program for your clients. To ensure you’re using the best providers available, a little investigating of your own will result in big benefits down the road.

Checklist on Securing Reputable Background Screening Service:

  • Research the listing of expatriate background screening firms provided by the Professional Background Screening Association https://thepbsa.org/.
  • Ask your provider how they comply with local and regional laws governing individual privacy protection; the methods they utilise in protecting information.
  • Make sure your service provider’s physical address is in the region they’re conducting investigations. If not, they could be simply outsourcing their cases to a third party.
  • Ask about the manner in which your service provider conducts investigations. Avoid firms that investigate exclusively through media searches.
  • Inquire about the internal policies and procedures the service provider uses to monitor the protection of data and if it conducts regular audits to ensure compliance with regional privacy mandates.
  • Specifically, the provider should be in compliance with GDPR and must maintain Information Security Management System ISMS (ISO27001).
  • Don’t settle for firms that say they specialise in providing checks of the International Terrorist Watch List and the OFAC watch list. Those lists are available online to anyone at no cost.
  • Avoid firms that won’t supply you with the source of the records they obtain, were available from public record resources. Also, be sure to ask how old the information collected is.
  • Reputable firms will combine in-depth field investigations with routine public records searches. Make sure your provider is doing both. Background checks involve investigative research and not just press clippings.
  • Service delivery is critical in foreign investigations. Ask about average turnaround times and get commitments for delivery in advance of the investigation.
  • Find out what other U.S. companies use as a service provider. Ask for references.
Employee Background Check

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is the ideal candidate? Are you 100% sure you know that everything they’re telling you is the truth? 90%? They showed you a diploma, how do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct laws during your background checks process? Employee background checks and necessary screenings are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within HR, your business, or even your brand – simply investing in a sufficient screening can save you time, money and heartbreak.

CRI Group has developed EmploySmart™, a robust new pre-employment background screening service, certified for BS7858,  to avoid negligent hiring liabilities. Ensure a safe work environment for all – EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. We are a leading worldwide provider, specialised in local and international employee background checks, including pre-employment and post-employment background checks.

About CRI Group

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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, the CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Q&A on how corporate fraud and corruption affect businesses in the UAE 2021

CRI Group and its ABAC® Center of Excellence were featured in Financier Worldwide’s InDepth Feature: Corporate fraud and corruption 2021. In this edition, CRI Group’s CEO Zafar Anjum and ABAC®’s Scheme Manager Huma Khalid talk about how corporate fraud and corruption affect businesses not only in the UK and UAE, but across the globe, and provide solutions and insights for businesses to become better protected from corporate fraud, bribery and corruption.

Q. To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level of corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in the UAE?

A. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains the least corrupt country in the Middle East and North Africa region. It was perhaps fitting that the United Nations (UN) held its anti-corruption conference in the UAE just over a year ago. At the conference, delegates drafted anti-corruption resolutions and discussed asset recovery, international cooperation, and other topics in preparation for an upcoming special session of the UN General Assembly against corruption. Of course, there is still much work to be done. Fraud, bribery and money laundering are still problems in the UAE that require a united focus to overcome. Of special concern is the real estate sector, which some have called a haven for stashing and laundering cash. In some cases, these funds are linked to terrorist financing, raising the alarm beyond just the balance sheet for typical financial or corporate fraud.

Q. Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in the UAE designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure to comply?

A. The recent Anti-Commercial Fraud Law in the UAE strengthened rules around counterfeiting and intellectual property (IP) theft, among other areas. In addition, lawmakers and regulators are applying an anti-fraud focus to other laws. A perfect example is the UAE’s Insolvency Law 2020. The Ministry of Finance announced that penalties will be imposed on those who fraudulently abuse the law. This could include making a fake claim or a sham debt against a debtor or illegally increasing a debt amount. Such offences are punishable by jail time and fines. An awareness campaign by the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), Abu Dhabi Police, and Dubai Police was the first such collaboration in the UAE and it comes as both corporate and consumer fraud have increased. Companies are expected to protect their stakeholders’ investments, and failure to do so can lead to regulatory and legal punishments.

Q. In your opinion, do regulators in the UAE have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area? Are they making inroads?

A. There are at least two daunting tasks facing regulators in the UAE at present: detecting and preventing money laundering and stemming the growing threat of cyber crime. While these problems are not unique to the UAE, they do require significant investment and increased investigation and enforcement efforts. Recent reports allege that illicit funds flow through ‘free trade zones’ and into real estate deals, such as luxurious properties in Dubai and other locations. The laws are in place to punish such crimes, but more inroads will need to be made to bring this under control in a country that largely succeeds at fighting fraud in other areas. Cyber crime is also a constant challenge that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many fraudsters have sought to take advantage of companies having to transition to different employment models, such as remote working. Fraud fighters are working hard to stay ahead of the curve in this regard.

Q. If a company finds itself subject to a government investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?

A. If a company finds itself under investigation, one of the first things it must do is mandate down the chain of command that employees cooperate fully with investigators. Any efforts to the contrary may be considered obstruction, and lead to more punishments or a higher likelihood of penalties at the end. In contrast, engaging in a good-faith effort to assist an investigation may weigh in the company’s favour.

Questions will arise, such as: Was this a surprise? What are the facts of the case? How did this occur? Legal counsel must be engaged immediately, but it is also important to speak with compliance officers, risk management, executives and the board in a transparent way to help the company move forward. Communicate a zero-tolerance policy toward fraud, and if employees are proven to have engaged in such behaviour, they should be terminated and prosecuted.

Q. What role are whistleblowers playing in the fight against corporate fraud and corruption? How important is it to train staff to identify and report potentially fraudulent activity?

A. Some business leaders falsely believe that audits, account reconciliation and other procedures offer the best protection against fraud. They are important functions, but they are not the most effective detection method. Fraud is often uncovered by tips, according to the ACFE’s Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. Employees are truly the front line of defence for companies, and the first to throw up warning flags about unethical behaviour. The question is whether companies listen to their employees. And is there an easy, anonymous way for employees to submit tips, without fear of retaliation? Companies should educate employees about the red flags of fraud, and then make sure they know they can and should report it.

Q. What advice can you offer to companies on conducting an internal investigation to follow up on suspicions of fraud or corruption?

A. If the company does not have an experienced team of anti-fraud professionals on staff, it is crucial to enlist the help of an outside firm with experts who specialise in this area. There are mistakes companies make at the beginning of an investigation that can haunt them later. For example, most countries, including the UAE, have laws that govern the proper collecting and handling of evidence. With most evidence in a digital format, following the right protocols is more important than ever. There are also important guidelines for interviewing witnesses and those suspected of fraud which, when disregarded, could lead to a failed investigation. The bottom line is: do not go it alone – get expert professional help. And if criminal conduct is discovered, contact the authorities.

Q. What general steps can companies take to proactively prevent corruption and fraud within their organisation?

A. Preventing and detecting fraud starts with a company’s employees, so training and communication are key. First, employees must be trained on what constitutes fraud, bribery and corruption, how to recognise it, and how to report it. Second, the company must communicate that fraud will not be tolerated on any level, and those who commit fraud will be terminated and prosecuted if they are found to have broken the law. Companies should also have anti-corruption and anti-fraud controls in place, including an employee code of conduct, regular and surprise audits, and a fraud reporting system available to employees, contractors and even customers. Achieving certification in internationally recognised standards, such as ISO 37001 ABMS, is a good practice too. When it comes to fraud and corruption, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Being proactive is truly the only practical option for protecting the business and its assets.

 

Meet Zafar ZAFAR ANJUM, Group Chief Executive Officer

Zafar Anjum is founder and group CEO at CRI Group, and its ABAC Center of Excellence. He uses his extensive knowledge and expertise in creating stable and secure networks across challenging global markets. For organisations needing large project management, security, safeguard and real-time compliance applications, Mr Anjum is the assurance expert of choice for industry professionals.

Corporate Research and Investigations | t: +44 (0)7588 454 959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

Meet HUMA KHALID,  Scheme Manager

Huma Khalid, as scheme manager, is responsible for leading ABAC. Ms Khalid’s responsibilities include planning and overseeing all aspects of the ABAC programme, which include certification and training. Additionally, she oversees the compliance department for the implementation, management and internal audit of CRI Group’s and ABAC compliance programmes

ABAC Center of Excellence Limited | t: +44 (0)777 652 4355 | e: huma.k@abacgroup.com

About CRI Group

CRI GROUP works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international risk management, employee background screening, business intelligence, due diligence, compliance solutions and other professional investigative research solutions provider. CRI Group has the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Its global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, the company has the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. For more on our Risk Management solutions just check out our brochure:

View Risk Management Solutions Brochure

Other contacts:

RAZA SHAH Business Development and Marketing Executive | t: +92 300 501 2632 | e: raza.shah@crigroup.com
AYESHA SYED Lead Auditor | t: +971 4 358 9884 | e: ayesha.s@abacgroup.com

CRI, the only company with BS102000 & BS7858 certifications in Middle East

What is BS7858 & BS102000? The BS7858:2019 standard, “Screening of Individuals Working in a Secure Environment – Code of Practice,” places emphasis on the risk assessment of secure environment workers. The code focuses on the need for tighter controls over the pre-employment screening – and periodic re-screening – of individuals, who in their positions could potentially benefit from illicit personal gain, become compromised, or take advantage of other opportunities for creating breaches of confidentiality, trust or safety. Read more here.

When it comes to providing information security, financial audits, risk assessments, background checks, due diligence and a wide range of anti-fraud related services, maintaining the highest levels of training and expertise is an absolute must. That’s why CRI Group achieves critical certifications from the British Standards Institute (BSI), the National Association of Background Screeners (NAPBS) and other preeminent groups in the security and anti-fraud field as part of the company’s commitment to its clients. 

CRI Group is the first and only investigative research company in the Middle East to receive the certifications BS102000:2013, Code of Practice for the Provision of Investigative Services, and BS7858:2019, screening of individuals working in a secure environment, from internationally recognised training and certification body BSI. CRI Group also holds other BSI certifications (more on those within this article).

Founded in 1901, BSI is the UK national standards body that works with thousands of organisations in more than 150 countries. BSI is accredited by 20 local and international bodies. We sat down with CRI Group President and CEO Zafar I Anjum, CFE, to discuss these certifications and what they mean:

CRI Group is the only firm of its kind in the Middle East to hold the BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 certifications. What led you to embark on gaining these and other certifications from BSI?

Anjum: Just a few years ago, we announced that CRI Group would be engaging BSI for training and certification on many levels, and these and other certifications are direct results of that initiative. Earning multiple certifications from a distinguished standards body like BSI is a mark of pride for us as it demonstrates expertise in our core services.

BS102000:2013 is the “Code of Practice for the Provision of Investigative Services.” What does this mean?

Anjum: This certifies CRI Group’s proficiency in providing services regarding fraud risk assessment and investigations, forensic accounting, intellectual property (IP) investigations, due diligence and background investigations, debt collections, corporate security consulting and investigation, pre-and post-employment screening and fraud and crime investigations.

BS7858:2019 denotes “Security Screening of Individuals Employed in a Security Environment.” Please tell us more about this certification.

Anjum: This recognises CRI Group’s expertise in screening services including identity checks, financial checks, employment checks and criminal records checks. CRI Group implemented this standard with regular external audits conducted by BSI and adhered to recommendations specifically vetting and conducting employment background screening of security personnel seeking affiliations with security companies.

How does this relate to CRI Group’s EmploySmart program?

Anjum: Background screening professionals must be on the cutting edge of industry technology and resources – while also staying educated on the changing laws and regulations that govern the field. At CRI Group, we are proud to provide the most extensive and thorough background screening services as part of our EmploySmart program.

CRI Group also holds the certifications ISO/IEC 27001:2013, Information Security Management System and you are a credentialed NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners) Research Provider. Congratulations on these distinguished credentials!

Anjum: Thank you. We are pleased to have our expertise in these areas recognised by BSI, NAPBS and other leading bodies, and we will continue to strive to provide the top level of service for businesses to help them prevent and detect fraud.

BS7858:2019, a new way to mitigate employee risk during COVID-19

The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has affected virtually every business and economic sector worldwide, and depending on the global region, has hampered (on various levels) the ability to conduct proper and thorough background screening investigations. In the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, the countrywide lockdowns forced leaders to close sites and send their workforce home. Many are having to learn how to manged people working from home (WFH) or remotely for the first time. The previous concerns about productivity, privacy and protecting sensitive information only grew more with the practice of WFH. They highlighted the vital importance of pre-employment background screening and background investigations. BS7858:2019: the revised standard for screening individuals working in secure environments offers a complete solution.

Find out how you can mitigate employee risk during this pandemic with BS7858:2019 

The revised BS7858:2019 standard enables organisations to demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding their businesses, employees, customers and information utilising widely accepted methods that focus on risk assessment and top-down management involvement in the company’s employment policies and practices. In establishing policies and practices around the standard, organisations can show that they place a high value on hiring individuals who possess integrity. Organisations can then task them with responsibilities designed to keep their co-workers, customers and information safe from the negative forces that have become more prevalent in today’s ever-changing COVID-19 world.

BS7858:2019, everything you need to know and more!

The price of a bad hire has far-reaching consequences for any business, including productivity loss, decreased employee morale, risks to employee safety and increased exposure to costly negligent hiring claims and potentially devastating litigation. The premise behind the standard is to safeguard employers from bad or fraudulent hires. Cases of organisations that forego conducting due diligence on a new hire – especially a hire with high-risk exposure – often end badly for those organisations. At CRI Group we know how important is your background screening to your company’s success and to give you an idea of what is new we have produced this playbook detailing the differences between BS7858:2012 standard and the new BS7858:2019 standard.

Download your “BS7858:2019, everything you need to know and more!” playbook here…

Managing your people through COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is undeniable affecting the world. And the situation is changing at an hourly rate as we go into a second global lockdown. Businesses are having to adapt quickly in order to survive, i.e. cutting steps in their hiring process, and no-one knows how this will play out. However, there are ways you can mitigate the impact, learn how with this FREE ebook. Taken as a whole, this ebook is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to effectively stay ahead of COVID-19. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • How to turn the tide’ on coronavirus crisis?;
  • COVID-19 Action point checklist;
  • Background Screening: Essential Checks;
  • 6 steps for good practice in connection with COVID-19;
  • 11 Steps to Reduce Personnel Costs;
  • COVID-19 General advice;
  • How to remove any danger to your business during COVID-19;
  • … and more!

Download your “Employee Screening during COVID-19: everything you need to know and more! FREE ebook here!

Frequently asked questions about background checks

Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks/screening cost, guidelines, check references etc. This eBook is a compilation of all of the background screening related questions you ever needed answers to:

  • Does a candidate have to give consent to process a background check/screening?
  • How long does it take to conduct a background check?
  • When should I conduct pre-employment checks?
  • How often should I screen employees?
  • How to collect references and what to ask?
  • How much does it cost to conduct background checks?
  • What is the difference between employment history verification and employment reference?
  • How do I check on entitlement to work?
  • How to conduct identity checks?
  • What will a financial regulatory check show?
  • Is it possible to identify a conflict of interest during checks?
  • What is a bankruptcy check?
  • What about directorships and shareholding search?
  • Can I have access to a criminal watch list?
  • Anti-money laundering check?
  • Can we conduct FACIS (fraud and abuse control information system) searches?
  • … and MORE!

Taken as a whole, is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions.[/vc_column_text][accordion_father][accordion_son title=”Meet our CEO” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Zafar I. Anjum, is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.  Headquartered in London (with 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 safeguards 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, 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.

CONTACT INFORMATION

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

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

About CRI Group 

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Q&A: Corporate Fraud and Corruption in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the 21 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.  However, UAE corporate fraud and corruption still prevails as UAE is just one of many enablers of global corruption, crime, and illicit financial flows. Addressing the emirate’s role presents anti-corruption practitioners, law enforcement agencies, and policymakers with incredibly complex challenges. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • To what extent are boards and senior executives in UAE taking proactive steps to reduce incidences of fraud and corruption from surfacing within their company?
  • Have there been any significant legal and regulatory developments relevant to corporate fraud and corruption in the UAE over the past 12-18 months?
  • When suspicions of fraud or corruption arise within a firm, what steps should be taken to evaluate and resolve the potential problem?
  • Do you believe companies are paying enough attention to employee awareness, such as training staff to identify and report potential fraud and misconduct?
  • How has the renewed focus on encouraging and protecting whistleblowers changed the way companies manage and respond to reports of potential wrongdoing?
  • And much more…

Q. To what extent are boards and senior executives in UAE taking proactive steps to reduce incidences of fraud and corruption from surfacing within their company?

Anjum: High-profile corruption scandals have driven home the seriousness of fraud and corruption, and the turmoil that can engulf a company because of it. Organisations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and in the Middle East region as a whole, understand that being proactive against risk can be a matter of survival, especially in a competitive environment, but it is more than that. Today, being forward-thinking and proactive when it comes to fraud and corruption can actually foster organisational growth. Business grows an average of 3 per cent faster where corruption is low, according to the World Bank. And more organisations are engaging in trusted certifications like ISO 37001 for anti-bribery management because having that certification tells customers, vendors, third parties and employees that the company places a high priority on fraud training and prevention.

Q. Have there been any significant legal and regulatory developments relevant to corporate fraud and corruption in the UAE over the past 12-18 months?

Anjum: In January 2017, UAE president Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved the highly anticipated Anti-Commercial Fraud Law, which strengthens protections of intellectual property rights (IPR) and imposes stricter penalties on counterfeiters. Counterfeiting and adulterated goods, along with intellectual property (IP) theft, are severe problems in the Middle East, propagated by unscrupulous inland and free zone traders. And while fraud and corruption still plague the region, the UAE continues to lead the Middle East in Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index for its strides in addressing fraud risk and areas of concern, including bribery and corruption. With that said, experts have noted that businesses and governments in the UAE, and the Middle East, on the whole, face increasing threats of cybercrime, with a need for continuously updated laws and regulations to keep pace with this ever-evolving fraud threat.

Q. When suspicions of fraud or corruption arise within a firm, what steps should be taken to evaluate and resolve the potential problem?

Anjum: Fraud allegations, from bribery to embezzlement, should be treated as a very serious issue. When suspicion arises at an organisation, business leaders and the board should bring in expert help. Professional investigators have years of training in evidence collection and interviewing, and their role is to establish the facts of the case. The key to a proper investigation is to not approach it with a preconceived notion of how it will conclude. It is critical to remember that companies do not get a second chance when conducting a fraud investigation. It has to be done right the first time to reach a successful conclusion.

Q. Do you believe companies are paying enough attention to employee awareness, such as training staff to identify and report potential fraud and misconduct?

Anjum: Employees are the eyes and ears of your company, and the first line of defence against fraud and corruption. Many organisations are getting the message and making employee training and awareness of key parts of their fraud prevention programme. One key way to do this is by engaging in ISO 37001, which certifies that an organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery. The certification process involves a training module for employees. It stresses the importance that such training should continue as mandatory for all staff, and be provided on an annual basis – if not more frequently. If employees do not know what constitutes fraud, or how to recognise it, organisations face a heightened risk of being victimised.

Q. How has the renewed focus on encouraging and protecting whistleblowers changed the way companies manage and respond to reports of potential wrongdoing?

Anjum: Statistics from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) show that most fraud is discovered by tips, which often come from employees, vendors and others connected to the organisation in some way, and the only way to get those tips is to provide a culture that supports and encourages whistleblowers. That is why having an anonymous reporting system, and communicating it to employees is a critical part of any fraud and risk prevention strategy. But for it to work, employees have to know what type of behaviour should be reported. This is where a training protocol like ISO 37001 comes in. It provides a curriculum that helps employees recognise the red flags of fraud, and also communicates how they can report fraud when they see it.

Q. Could you outline the main fraud and corruption risks that can emerge from third-party relationships? In your opinion, do firms pay sufficient attention to due diligence at the outset of a new business relationship?

Anjum: Many companies pay lip service to due diligence, but when an opportunity arises to make a major move, such as a merger, acquisition or new partnership, the interest of growing the business trumps a more cautious approach. This may be changing, however, as more organisations in the UAE and elsewhere put established due diligence procedures in place that cannot be circumvented by overeager business leaders. This is important because the risks are great.

Q. What advice can you offer to companies on implementing and maintaining a robust fraud and corruption risk management process, with appropriate internal controls?

Anjum: Begin with a thorough fraud risk assessment that examines every area of your organisation. This should be conducted by experts and used to gauge your overall threat level, as well as help you create a plan for moving forward by exposing a weakness that could lead to fraud risk and compliance issues. When creating your fraud and corruption risk management process, be sure to include hiring procedures, including thorough background checks, due diligence for any new mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, regular schedule audits and implement an anonymous reporting system. Build-in review processes that track the effectiveness of your controls, including how tips were handled and ultimately resolved. Finally, try to think like a fraudster. Consider any way that an employee, vendor or even customer might try to take advantage of your organisation. You might be surprised at what you find.

 

Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour

If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication, or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI Group’s Compliance Hotline. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy.[/vc_column_text][accordion_father][accordion_son title=”Meet our CEO” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Zafar I. Anjum, is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.  Headquartered in London (with 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 safeguards 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, 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.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

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

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”About CRI Group” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”2018 annual reviews” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Download 2018 annual reviews by Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO, and Ms. Fatima Farrukh, Compliance professional at CRI Group.

Click here to download the review of UAE (Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO at CRI Group)
Click here to download the review of UK (Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO at CRI Group)
Click here to download the review of Pakistan (Ms. Fatima Farrukh, Compliance professional at CRI Group)

CRI Group was included in the 2018 Annual Review: UAE Corporate Fraud & Corruption, published by Financier Worldwide Magazine. The above is an updated version of the Financier Worldwide reprint.

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Have you read….

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BS7858:2019: everything you need to know and more!

The recent update of the BS7858 standard, “Screening of Individuals Working in a Secure Environment – Code of Practice,” places emphasis on the risk assessment of secure environment workers. The code focuses on the need for tighter controls over the pre-employment screening – and periodic re-screening – of individuals, who in their positions could potentially benefit from illicit personal gain, become compromised, or take advantage of other opportunities for creating breaches of confidentiality, trust or safety.

What is BS7858?

BS7858 stands for “Screening of Individuals Working in a Secure Environment – Code of Practice,” The BS7858 is a code of practice released by BSI (British Standards Institution), a business standards company which supports companies in achieving excellence within their field, and continuously boosting performance. Introduced in 2013, the standard was updated in September 2019 and is now considered to be the industry standard for all screening in employment, despite its original intention for use in security environments only. This code was meant to provide a critical security standard that guided employers on the screening process for security staff before offering full employment. However, the new update has widened the scope of this code.

This British Standard helps employers to screen personnel before they employ them. It gives best-practice recommendations, sets the standard for the  screening of staff in an environment where the safety of people, goods or property is essential. This includes data security, sensitive and service contracts and confidential records. It can also be applied to situations where security screening is in the public’s interest. It sets out all the requirements to conduct a screening process. It covers ancillary staff, acquisitions and transfers, and the security conditions of contractors and subcontractors. It also looks at information relating to the Rehabilitation of Offenders and Data Protection Acts. CRI Group is the first and only investigative research company in the Middle East to receive the certifications BS7858:2019 and BS102000:2013, Code of Practice for the Provision of Investigative Services from internationally recognised training and certification body BSI. 

Change of scope

The change of scope is possibly the biggest change of the standard. In the old document, the standard concerned the security sector only. However, the scope has been amended to allow organisations in all environments to adopt the standard when employee screening. And due to the current pandemic, this update is more significant than ever. There is a specific section of the standard that relates to risk management which states: “An integral part of risk management is to provide a structured process for organisations to identify how objectives might be affected. It is used to analyse the risk in terms of consequences and their probabilities before the organisation decides what further action is required”.

BS 7858:2019 lays out the scope of “obtaining personal background information to enable organisations to make an informed decision, based on risk, on employing an individual in a secure environment.” Those workers include business owners, directors, partners, silent partners and shareholders holding more than 10% of the business; managers, area managers, department managers, screening managers and staff; installers and service crew; security personnel; and office supervisors and staff with access to customer and system records.

The amended guidelines of the standard put the onus on the organisation’s top management to demonstrate that they are focused on the aspects of the business where the most risk lies, and the particular personnel roles that are involved within those risks areas. This is particularly important because, as the standard states, the “organisation retains ultimate responsibility for an outsourced screening process and is required to review the completed screening file.” Risks assessment includes examining specific roles that involve financial tasks, data security, management of goods, property risks or any number of “people risks” such as roles with direct access to vulnerable adults and children.

To that end, management is charged with ensuring that the organisation has proper and adequate resources and infrastructure in place to manage the adequate vetting of high-risk personnel. Management is tasked with the response and that there is a firm commitment at the top level to manage and support the coordination required to execute the screening process. Finally, management is tasked with ensuring that such responsibilities are correctly assigned and communicated throughout the organisation. The guideline also eliminates from its original text in 2012, a requirement to produce character references as part of the screening process. This decision was based on the supposition that such references are now deemed as potentially weak and difficult to verify. Managing risk effectively is essential to ensure businesses succeed and thrive in an environment of constant uncertainty. ISO 31000 aims to simplify risk management into a set of clearly understandable and actionable guidelines, that should be straightforward to implement, regardless of the size, nature, or location of a business.

BS7858:2019, a new way to mitigate employee risk during COVID-19

The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has affected virtually every business and economic sector worldwide, and depending on the global region, has hampered (on various levels) the ability to conduct proper and thorough background screening investigations. In the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, the countrywide lockdowns forced leaders to close sites and send their workforce home. Many are having to learn how to manged people working from home (WFH) or remotely for the first time. The previous concerns about productivity, privacy and protecting sensitive information only grew more with the practice of WFH. They highlighted the vital importance of pre-employment background screening and background investigations. BS 7858:2019: the revised Standard for screening individuals working in secure environments offers a complete solution.

The revised BS7858 standard enables organisations to demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding their businesses, employees, customers and information utilising widely accepted methods that focus on risk assessment and top-down management involvement in the company’s employment policies and practices. In establishing policies and procedures around the standard, organisations can show that they place a high value on hiring individuals who possess integrity. Organisations can then task them with responsibilities designed to keep their co-workers, customers and information safe from the opposing forces that have become more prevalent in today’s ever-changing COVID-19 world. Find out more on how you can mitigate employee risk during this pandemic with BS7858:2019.

Playbook BS7858:2019, everything you need to know and more!

The price of a bad hire has far-reaching consequences for any business, including productivity loss, decreased employee morale, risks to employee safety and increased exposure to costly negligent hiring claims and potentially devastating litigation. The premise behind the standard is to safeguard employers from harmful or fraudulent hires.

Cases of organisations that forego conducting due diligence on a new hire – especially a hire with high-risk exposure – often end badly for those organisations. At CRI Group we know how important is your background screening to your company’s success and to give you an idea of what is new we have produced this playbook detailing the differences between BS7858:2012 standard and the new BS7858:2019 standard.

BS 7858:2019 playbook: everything you need to know and more!

Download FREE BS7858 playbook

Managing your people through COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is undeniable affecting the world. And the situation is changing at an hourly rate as we go into a second global lockdown. Businesses are having to adapt quickly to survive, i.e. cutting steps in their hiring process, and no-one knows how this will play out. However, there are ways you can mitigate the impact, learn how with this FREE ebook.

Taken as a whole, this ebook is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to stay ahead of COVID-19 effectively. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • How to turn the tide’ on coronavirus crisis?;
  • COVID-19 Action point checklist;
  • Background Screening: Essential Checks;
  • 6 steps for good practice in connection with COVID-19;
  • 11 Steps to Reduce Personnel Costs;
  • COVID-19 General advice;
  • How to remove any danger to your business during COVID-19;
  • … and more!
COVID-19 background screening and all you need to know | eBook | MockUp

Download your FREE playbook 

 

 

Frequently asked questions about background checks

Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks / screening cost,  guidelines, check references etc.

This eBook is a compilation of all of the background screening related questions you ever needed answers to:

  • Does a candidate have to give consent to process a background check / screening?
  • How long does it take to conduct a background check?
  • When should I conduct pre-employment checks?
  • How often should I screen employees?
  • How to collect references and what to ask?
  • How much does it cost to conduct background checks?
  • What is the difference between employment history verification and employment reference?
  • How do I check on entitlement to work?
  • How to conduct identity checks?
  • What will a financial regulatory check show?
  • Is it possible to identify a conflict of interest during checks?
  • What is a bankruptcy check?
  • What about directorships and shareholding search?
  • Can I have access to a criminal watch list?
  • Anti-money laundering check?
  • Can we conduct FACIS (fraud and abuse control information system) searches?
  • … and MORE!
 

FAQ employee background screening | eBook | MockUp

Taken as a whole, is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions.

DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK


Let’s Talk!

BS7984:2008 accredited companies (such CRI Group) highlight to their clients that their security personnel are staff that can be trusted and relied upon to complete a high-quality job as the screening process highlights the level of conduct that they have presented in the past. This reassures the safety of the people, goods and property that they have been hired to protect. If you have any further questions or interest in implementing compliance solutions, please contact us.

About the Author

Zafar I. Anjum, is Group Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Research and Investigations Limited “CRI Group” (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, integrity due 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 safeguards 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, USA, and the United Kingdom.

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, LLM, CFE, CII, MABI, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime), Int. Dip. (GRC)
CRI Group Chief Executive Officer
37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA, United Kingdom
t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Q&A: Corporate Fraud and Corruption in Pakistan

Corporate fraud and corruption in Pakistan is widespread (Rose-Ackerman, 1997, p. 4), particularly in the government and police forces. However by 2013 the country had improved by 12 indices compared to its previous rank – in 2012, 139 out of 174; in 2011, 134 out of 182; in 2010, 143 out of 178 countries. And in 2017, Pakistan saw a significant improvement in its statistics, with the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International ranking the country 117th out of 180 countries. However Transparency International latest report (Jan 2020) indicated that Pakistan is a more corrupt country than it was in year 2017 –  ranking 139 out of 180 countries in in 2019. There is a need to reform accountability and anti-corruption policies in Pakistan. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • To what extent are boards and senior executives in Pakistan taking proactive steps to reduce incidences of fraud and corruption from surfacing within their company?
  • Have there been any significant legal and regulatory developments relevant to corporate fraud and corruption in Pakistan over the past 12-18 months?
  • When suspicions of fraud or corruption arise within a firm, what steps should be taken to evaluate and resolve the potential problem?
  • Do you believe companies are paying enough attention to employee awareness, such as training staff to identify and report potential fraud and misconduct?
  • How has the renewed focus on encouraging and protecting whistleblowers changed the way companies manage and respond to reports of potential wrongdoing?
  • and much more…

To what extent are boards and senior executives in Pakistan taking proactive steps to reduce incidences of fraud and corruption from surfacing within their company? 

CRI Group: Rising fraud risks have driven companies to establish the right steps to prevent fraud and corruption from surfacing. Following through with a focused trajectory ultimately also ensures failsafe protections are put in place, which will guard against scandals or negative publicity, while minimising risk exposure. There is quite a notable empirical rise in the frequency of companies conducting background screenings to nip corruption in the bud. Though checks can vary in nature, enforcing internal controls by implementing ISO strategies can bring pivotal change to a company’s strategy.

Have there been any significant legal and regulatory developments relevant to corporate fraud and corruption in Pakistan over the past 12-18 months?

CRI Group: Hard-line anti-fraud and anti-corruption policies are becoming more commonplace. Companies can face hefty fines for breaching the statutory parameters set forth by regulatory authorities. Transparency International is also driving many GCC countries to improve their anti-fraud and corruption provisions. Public participation and whistleblower tip-offs have also contributed to the monitoring process, thus encouraging the establishment and sanctioning of management systems designed for anti-corruption purposes.

When suspicions of fraud or corruption arise within a firm, what steps should be taken to evaluate and resolve the potential problem?

CRI Group: Vigilance from compliance professionals must ensure that fraud is detected within companies. If such suspicions are aroused, a prompt response strategy must be put in place. However, if the suspect is ultimately found innocent, it may dampen employee morale and affect the company’s credibility and reputation. Setting up a committee is an integral step to helping companies investigate any potentially fraudulent activity, the quorum of which should be comprised of senior management, finance, compliance and HR professionals. In the interest of avoiding any internal conflicts of interest, an independent investigation company should be employed to conduct due diligence on the suspect and share the report with the committee for immediate action to be taken against the suspect, if proven guilty.

Do you believe companies are paying enough attention to employee awareness, such as training staff to identify and report potential fraud and misconduct?

CRI Group: Previously, these areas were untouched but now the picture has changed, and with the changing scenario comes rapid evolution. Increasing global compliance requirements and awareness regarding corruption have increased employer awareness. Essentially, compliance professionals are now increasingly required to have adequate and up-to-date knowledge of anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices. Therefore, compliance and HR teams are ensuring the maintenance of well-versed and explicit policies for dealing with misconduct and fraud cases. It is now also a norm to see frequent awareness sessions and dedicated training sessions conducted to ensure compliance with these policies within the corporate realm, particularly in conjunction with certification bodies for hands-on training from experts.

How has the renewed focus on encouraging and protecting whistleblowers changed the way companies manage and respond to reports of potential wrongdoing?

CRI Group: Whistleblowing is regarded with increasing importance by many companies, and this is then communicated during the onboarding process to ensure awareness of potential risk areas and wrongdoing. The most important aspect of this would be to ensure clarity on the whistleblowing process itself. Confidentiality and privacy security assurance to whistleblowers is, above all, what would boost employee confidence to responsibly partake in helping to safeguard the company’s integrity by blowing the whistle without the fear of inviting any undesirable impact, such as jeopardising their job security.

Could you outline the main fraud and corruption risks that can emerge from third-party relationships? In your opinion, do firms pay sufficient attention to due diligence at the outset of a new business relationship?

CRI Group: The ‘Pandora’s box’ of corporate fraud and corruption may comprise issues pertaining to insurance claim fraud, investment ‘black holes’, ghost companies and criminal and civil litigation precedent, among others. There is a greater need for third-party risk management services due to the rapid expansion of companies.

What advice can you offer to companies on implementing and maintaining a robust fraud and corruption risk management process, with appropriate internal controls?

CRI Group: Risk management is an essential part of minimising the costs that can arise in the long term due to losses and falling prey to fraudulent practices in the corporate realm. This can be implemented through a resilient management system that has been designed to specifically target any loopholes and any roadblocks, the impact of which can often be greater than anticipated, rattling the company and causing harm that could lead to lawsuits, unanticipated monetary and financial losses and hefty fines imposed by regulatory authorities, from which the company may never recover.

Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour

If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication, or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI Group’s Compliance Hotline. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy.

About CRI Group

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Download 2018 annual reviews by CRI Group.

Click here to download the review of UAE
Click here to download the review of UK
Click here to download the review of Pakistan

CRI Group was included in the 2018 Annual Review: Pakistan Corporate Fraud & Corruption, published by Financier Worldwide Magazine. The above is based the 2018 Financier Worldwide reprint (download here).

 

Q&A session with our CEO: United Arab Emirates fighting Fraud and corruption

Middle east corruption is a threat to the world. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a land of complex extremes where fabulous wealth and supercars live right next to staggering poverty. This is generally a recipe for fraud and corruption. However UAE has been talking the right steps towards a fraud free future. This Financier Worldwide Q&A session with our CEO discusses United Arab Emirates role in fighting fraud and corruption. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level f corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in United Arab Emirates in recent years?
  • Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in United Arab emirates  designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure comply?
  • Do regulators in United Arab Emirates have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area? Are they making inroads in this area?
  • If a company finds itself subject to a government investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?
  • and much more…

Q. To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level of corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recent years?

ANJUM: Some recent, high profile cases have affected companies and countries in the Middle East. Embraer’s bribery scandal, involving sales of its aircraft, included officials in Saudi Arabia, among others. Further, there have been suspicions of corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar, suspicious which have been worsened by allegations of human rights abuses involving migrant workers. In general, however, it is still issues like data theft, e-commerce fraud, information security and other high tech threats that pose serious risks to organisations in the Middle East. We live in an increasingly connected world, so while anti-fraud laws and controls in one country may be robust, a company might find itself doing business abroad in a location where laws and enforcement are more lax, and risk is heightened.

Q. Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in UAE designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure to comply?

ANJUM: the UAE has a strong reputation for being tough on corruption, and a new law enhances this stance. The recently approved, and highly anticipated, Anti-Commercial Fraud Law will strengthen protections of intellectual property rights (IPR) and will impose stricter penalties anon counterfeiters. For example, a fraud offence related to counterfeiting could now result in up to 2 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to Dh1m. Overall, corruption is still a low risk for companies operating in the UAE. Laws against corruption are enforced, and they cover bribery, facilitation payments, embezzlement and other types of fraud and abuse. However, when concerning the Middle East as a whole, there are indications that fraud and corruption are the rise, which means we must be ever vigilant in protecting investments throughout the region.

Q. In your opinion, do regulators in UAE have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area and fight corruption? Are they making inroads in this area?

ANJUM: When considering the Middle East region, there can be no ignoring war-ravaged areas like Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. It is an understatement to say that countries embroiled in conflicts and crisis usually do not have the resources or manpower to properly prevent and detect fraud. But according to Transparency international’s most recent  Corruption Perceptions Index, a few of the other more stable and affluent countries in the region are experiencing some difficulty preventing fraud, as well. Different factors can contribute to these struggles, be they politics, autocratic leadership, weak laws or judiciary bodies. However, the UAE still ranks as the least corrupt country in the Middle East, and other countries might take heed of the country’s Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and other existing laws, not to mention the UAE’s enforcement measures, as a possible model for future efforts.

Q. If a company finds itself subject to a government fraud and corruption investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?

ANJUM: A company that finds itself in such as crisis should immediately cooperate with authorities and work quickly to gather the facts. What are the allegations? What is the scope of the investigation? Was the raid expected, or has the company been taken completely by surprise? In the early stages, it is crucial that the company engages in a good-faith effort to be transparent and cooperative. Of course, retaining legal counsel, is a must at this an every stage of an investigation, If an employee or employees have engaged in fraud, the company should support the fact-finding process and let justice run its course. Company leaders should also evaluate their internal controls and ensure that additional fraud or corruption is not occurring under the radar.

Q. What role are whistle-blowers playing in the fight against corporate fraud and corruption? How important is it to train staff to identify and report potentially fraudulent activity?

ANJUM: The statistics on fraud, such as in the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse show that fraud is most often uncovered by tips, more so than audits, surveillance, account reconciliation, document examination and other methods. Accordingly, a company’s own employees are their first line of defence against fraud. But to encourage whistle blowing, two critical measures need to be in place. First, employee should be trained to identify the red flags of fraud, and to know what does, and what does not, constitute fraudulent behaviour. Second, a reporting mechanism should be in place; an anonymous system by which whistle-blowers can submit their tips without fear of retaliation or negative consequences.

Q. What advice can you offer to companies on conducting an internal investigation to follow up on suspicions of fraud or corruption?

ANJUM: In any situation where fraud is suspected, it is crucial that experts be brought in as quickly as possible to help unravel the facts of the case, if the company does not have anti-fraud professional among its staff, It is critical to remember that there are various laws, depending on your country or region, which govern the rules of gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. Any evidence that is mishandled or collected improperly can negatively impact an investigation and hurt the chances of a resolution. If an investigation is bungled from the start, it is nearly impossible to then ‘wind it back’ and correct mistakes later. Also, if criminal behaviour is suspected, legal authorities should be quickly notified and provided with the company’s findings and reasons for the allegation.

Q. What general steps can companies take to proactively prevent corruption and fraud within their organisation?

ANJUM: Every organisation, large or small, should have a plan in place for preventing and detecting fraud. The first step is to communicate the organisation’s zero-tolerance stance against fraud. An ethical code of conduct, signed by every employee, can be effective in this regard. A fraud risk assessment should be conducted to find vulnerabilities. The company’s hiring policy should include pre- and post-employment background screening. Job responsibilities should include segregation of duties, so that no single employee has too much control over finances or assets. The company should conduct audits and encourage whistle-blowing with an anonymous reporting system. With a comprehensive fraud prevention system in place, business owners can sleep a little easier, knowing that their organisation has reduced risk and increased their ability to prevent and detect fraud.

Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour

If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication, or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI Group’s Compliance Hotline. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_section][accordion_father][accordion_son title=”About CRI Group” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”Meet our CEO” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Zafar I. Anjum, is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.  Headquartered in London (with 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 safeguards 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, 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.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

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

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”Sources & Credits” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]This Q&A article is based on a 2017 Financier Worldwide interview.

Since 2001, Financier Worldwide has provided valuable information on corporate finance and board-level business issues through its monthly magazine and exclusive website content. As a leading publisher of news and analysis on this dynamic global market, the organisation is recognised as a valued source of intelligence to the corporate, investment and advisory community. More from Financier Worldwide:

Download 2018 annual reviews by Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO, and Ms. Fatima Farrukh, Compliance professional at CRI Group.

  • Click here to download the review of UAE (Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO at CRI Group)
  • Click here to download the review of UK (Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO at CRI Group)
  • Click here to download the review of Pakistan (Ms. Fatima Farrukh, 2018 Compliance professional at CRI Group)

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HAVE YOU READ…

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FAQ: Employment Screening

Want to know what types of red flags are most often found on résumés and employment applications? CRI Group’s EmploySmart™ experts provided some statistics on their latest pre- and post-employment screening engagements, and they give insights into where companies are most vulnerable in the hiring process. The operations team found that providing incorrect employment details is the most common red flag, as it was uncovered in about 4.5 per cent of background screenings. This is followed by providing incorrect education degree details as well as having adverse media (unfavourable news or online mentions), both at 2.33 per cent.

Most employers would probably say that when it comes to educational background, the only thing worse than providing incorrect degree information would be outright claiming a fake degree – which occurred in nearly 2 per cent of cases. Other red flags included having a criminal record (1.5 per cent), a civil litigation record (1.27 per cent), and providing a fake address (also 1.27 per cent). To round out the findings, the operations team found bankruptcy records, fake certificates and negative references among 0.85 per cent of those screened.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks / screening cost,  guidelines, check references etc. This eBook is a compilation of all of the background screening related questions you ever needed answers to:

  • Does a candidate have to give consent to process a background check / screening?
  • How long does it take to conduct a background check?
  • When should I conduct pre-employment checks?
  • How often should i screen employees?
  • How to collect references and what to ask?
  • How much does it cost to conduct a background checks?
  • What is he difference between employment history verification and employment reference?
  • How do I check on entitlement to work?
  • How to conduct identity checks?
  • What will a financial regulatory check show?
  • Is it possible to identify conflict of interest during checks?
  • What is a bankruptcy check?
  • What about directorships and shareholding search?
  • Can I have access to a criminal watch list?
  • Anti-money laundering check?
  • Can we conduct FACIS (fraud and abuse control information system) searches?
  • … and MORE!

Taken as a whole, is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions.

Download your “Employee Background Screening FAQ” FREE ebook now!

FAQ employee background screening

FAQ employee background screening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About CRI Group

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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 BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Background Screening Red flags: Numbers Don’t Lie

Want to know what types of red flags are most often found on résumés and employment applications? CRI® Group’s EmploySmart™ experts provided some statistics on their latest pre- and post-employment screening engagements, and they give insights into where companies are most vulnerable in the hiring process. background screening red flags

The operations team found that providing incorrect employment details is the most common red flag, as it was uncovered in about 4.5 per cent of background screenings. This is followed by providing incorrect education degree details as well as having adverse media (unfavourable news or online mentions), both at 2.33 per cent.

Most employers would probably say that when it comes to educational background, the only thing worse than providing incorrect degree information would be outright claiming a fake degree – which occurred in nearly 2 per cent of cases. Other red flags included having a criminal record (1.5 per cent), a civil litigation record (1.27 per cent), and providing a fake address (also 1.27 per cent). To round out the findings, the operations team found bankruptcy records, fake certificates and negative references among 0.85 per cent of those screened.

Deception among job seekers is real

Anytime someone intentionally provides false information in their résumé, they are committing résumé fraud – usually in the hopes of gaining a competitive edge in the hiring process. “There are even business services out there that will knowingly assist candidates with changing their résumé in this way, such as offering advice on how to hide employment gaps or how to add false information that looks realistic. Some will even provide fake transcripts and fake letters of recommendation” (HR Daily Advisor, 2018).

The same goes for fabrications on an application. It can occur anywhere in the process, and the candidate will likely continue to misrepresent themselves in the interview process to maintain their fraud. As mentioned above, helping candidates embellish or even fabricate credentials has become a business unto itself. “On the surface, these appear to be candidates taking desperate measures. But the candidates themselves may not be the only ones at fault. As recruitment has migrated online and become automated … opportunities for scammers have arisen. Professional recruiters, who get placement fees when they land candidates in jobs, have a clear incentive to game the system, Zhao says. They are ‘middlemen who can make significant profit by misrepresenting clients’” (Inc.com, 2019).

There is only one clear remedy and protection method to combat this type of fraud: thorough and comprehensive background checks. Most organisations, however, don’t have the time, resources, or the expertise to conduct the needed level of background screening on their own. This is where CRI® Group’s EmploySmart™ comes in. The robust pre-employment background screening service helps organisations worldwide avoid making uninformed and potentially harmful hiring decisions. As a leading provider of specialised local and international employment background screening, CRI® Group’s uses EmploySmart™ to provide risk mitigation and give business leaders confidence in their hiring process. EmploySmart™ includes a thorough menu of screening that fulfills your organisation’s risk management needs. These checks include the following:

  • Address verification – one of the red flags discussed above.
  • Identity verification – what are they hiding? Falsifying one’s identity is a major red flag.
  • Previous employment verification – candidates might claim false employment to beef up their résumés.
  • Education & credential verification – screeners check degrees and education history.
  • Local language media check – what is uncovered about the candidate in news reports?
  • Credit verification & financial history – candidates who conceal financial problems can be a fraud risk (local privacy laws apply).
  • Civil litigation record check – lawsuits can indicate red flags, background screening will uncover the details.
  • Bankruptcy record check – when hiring someone for a financial or leadership position, it’s important to know if they have bankruptcy filings.
  • International criminal record check – checking criminal records is essential for the safety of your employees and your business.

These are just a few of the essential checks that are part of the EmploySmart™ process. CRI® Group’s network spans the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific for providing international risk management, background screening and due diligence solutions provider. Don’t tempt fate and invite red flags into your business by making risky hires. The proper pre-and post-employment screening will uncover those hidden things that a candidate might not want you to know. Contact CRI® today and learn more about how EmploySmart™ will help provide your organisation with that extra layer of protection you need. Get a FREE QUOTE now!

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance 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® also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 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 organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.