This month, May 2020, CRI Group celebrates 30 years. We are worldwide provider of background screening, investigative due diligence, third-party risk management, compliance and other professional investigative research services. From the very beginning, CRI Group has been dedicated to safeguarding organisations, helping businesses fight bribery and corruption, while promoting transparent business relations. “Investigative results are for the people, to get informed decisions” embodies CRI Group’s values and aspirations.
Based in London, United Kingdom, CRI Group is a global company with experts and resources located in key regional marketplaces across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North and South America. CRI Group also established the ABAC® Center of Excellence to educate, equip and support the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk assessments, performance assessments, systems improvement and standards certification.
CRI Group and ABAC® always stand ready to assist clients on every level, and together achieved many significant accomplishments within just the past year alone. From engaging new partnerships and adding new certifications, to launching an e-training portal and even opening another office, CRI Group and its ABAC® have been busy expanding their reach to help more organisations prevent fraud, bribery, corruption and other business risks; while increasing certification and training offerings at a time when they are critically needed.
CRI Group Honoured to be Named Certified Provider by HRO Today Association
A major announcement was made just last month when the HRO Today Association approved CRI Group as a Certified Provider of background screening to the human resources services industry. CRI Group completed a rigorous audit process for its pre- and post-employment screening services, and “demonstrated a high level of accountability of standards and ethics,” according to an HRO Today Association statement.
HRO Today Association certified members demonstrate that they have undergone evaluation and testing to verify themselves as credible and trusted providers. This form of certification ensures customers have access to qualified service providers in the HR services and technology industry.
CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence: Serving Clients with Innovation
Founded by CRI Group in 2016, ABAC® is celebrating an anniversary of its own: Three years of educating, equipping and supporting the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk assessments, performance assessments, systems improvement and standards certification. ABAC CoE launched a new website this year, along with several new initiatives described below.
State-of-the-Art E-Training Portal Launched
ABAC®, powered by CRI Group, unveiled a new e-training portal to bring its acclaimed certification and training straight to the businesses and organisations that need it. Through the portal, ABAC® CoE offers three levels of training for ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Management Systems standard. These include ISO 37001 Awareness (Introductory), ISO 37001 Internal Auditor, and ISO 37001 Lead Auditor online training courses. Taught by ABAC® trusted experts with years of hands-on and business experience, these online courses provide a proactive way for employees to learn to recognise any form of corruption, and report it. Course instructors bring the subject matter to life with relevant and contemporary examples.
New Webinar, Expertise at Anti-Corruption Forums Help Spread Knowledge About Bribery and Corruption Risks
With more businesses turning to online learning opportunities, ABAC® Center of Excellence hosted two free webinars: “ISO 37001 ABMS Overview” informs on the standard that was released in 2016 with a variety of anti-bribery best practices that all organisations should adopt. The webinar is still available for viewing and describes how ISO 37001 ABMS works, what measures it entails and what value it brings to businesses – along with how to get certified. “How Effective is Your Anti-Bribery Management System?” examines the fact that even among companies that identify and prioritise bribery and corruption risks, we often find gaps. These issues limit compliance officers from fully maximising the benefits and business value of their anti-bribery management programmes. This webinar is also available for viewing, and informs on how to mitigate risks and rectify these unintentional gaps in your policies and procedures.
In September, CRI Group’s ABAC® proudly participated in important anti-corruption events in Malaysia. The first was a briefing session and discussed ‘The Importance of ISO 37001 ABMS’ at the Malaysia German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ABAC® also proudly supported at Malaysia Anti-Corruption Forum, themed “Understanding and Addressing the World’s Biggest Problem,” organised by International Strategy Institute (ISI).
In December, “Manage your business risks with confidence” was the theme for CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence anti-bribery anti-corruption training event held on International Anti-Corruption Day (Monday, 9 December) in Dubai. Hosted at Dubai Quality Group’s offices at Emarat Atrium Building, “Introductory Seminar on ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System” provided critical insight on how to protect businesses from bribery and corruption risks.
Expanding the Global Reach: CRI Group’s ABAC® Opens New Office in Abu Dhabi Global Market
In January, ABAC® proudly announced the opening of its offices in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). “ABAC Certification’s worldwide network of multi-disciplined subject specialist auditors and analysts help organisations prevent and deter bribery and corruption, third-party malfeasance, threats and corruption risks while ensuring our clients conform to the local and international regulatory framework, specifically UK Bribery Act 2010 and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA),” said Zafar Anjum, ABAC CoE CEO. “The establishment of our offices in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) gives us the platform to expand our Accredited Certification capabilities further and enhance the level of support we offer to the international business community.”
Dynamic New Partnerships and Certifications for clients
ABAC® Center of Excellence also announced that Apex Shipping Services LLC, based in Dubai (UAE), successfully demonstrated compliance with ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) requirements and attained ABAC Certification. Kanwal Zafar, Managing Director at ABAC CoE, said “It is our honour to recognise Apex and certify them for implementing ISO 37001 anti-bribery management standards. From the beginning of the certification process, Apex has demonstrated a commitment to achieving the highest level of compliance, preventing and detecting bribery.”
Award-winning information technology services company ISS Middle East FZC (IntelliSoft) also attained ABAC Certification in ISO 37001:2016 ABMS for services such as SAP Professional, Technology, Infra services & solutions (Data Management, Application development, Legacy Modernisation Cloud service, Analytics & Mobility), Staffing, Recruitment and Outsourcing services in IT. “We are honoured to work with ISS Middle East FZC towards their commitment to prevent, detect, report and eliminate bribery and corruption,” said Kanwal Zafar. “This zero-tolerance approach helps organisations to emerge as a global ethical and trusted partner, as this standard is recognised and practised worldwide.”
New Ethics and Compliance Hotline to Foster Prevention and Detection
In keeping with one of the most effective methods for detecting fraud and corruption, CRI Group implemented an anonymous reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective, or are impractical under the circumstances. The new Ethics & Compliance Hotline is available to all employees, as well as clients, contractors, vendors and others in a business relationship with CRI Group and ABAC Group. The Ethics & Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider that provides protection through a Non-Retaliation Policy.
CRI Group: A Brief History
The story of CRI Group began when it was originally founded as the “Metropolitan Detective Agency” by Mr. Muhammad Anwar Naveed, the father of CRI Group CEO Mr. Zafar I. Anjum. It was a one-man private investigation firm that dealt with insurance claim investigations. In 1990, Anjum (a former member of the Pakistan Rangers who had earned a Graduate Diploma from Pakistan Detective Training Institute PDTI) formally launched the business as a full flagged district level detection agency with a full range of services including insurance claim fraud investigations, background checks and due diligence.
It was while Anjum was working on an insurance fraud case that he came to a realisation about the nature of fraud. Whereas most types of crime are dealt with by the justice system, fraud is handled differently. It can be so complex and specialised that it often requires investigation by an external agency or organisation with expertise in fraud detection.
In 2001, Anjum increased the scope and mission of his firm, along with a new name: Corporate Research and Investigations (Private) Limited, offering full-scale investigative research services. Expansion would come quickly with incorporation in 2006 in the UK, and 2008 in UAE.
In 2016, Anjum and CRI Group embraced a bold new initiative with the founding of the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption ABAC® Center of Excellence, with world-class programs to train and certify organisations in compliance processes, including the comprehensive ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification.
Today, CRI Group is a recognised global leader in employee background screening services, investigative due diligence, third-party risk management services and Anti-bribery Management Systems. CRI Group safeguards some of the world’s leading businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking for affiliation.
“Our business is preserving and improving Corporate Fraud Control, facilitating to get informed decisions and lessens the crime picture from society and working businesses,” Anjum said.
“Above all, we value our ability to serve the business community who can benefit from the appropriate use of our investigative results and services,” Anjum added. “We are dedicated to providing the highest level of professional excellence and result oriented delivery systems. We strive to identify the most critical needs of professionals and consumers, and we devote our resources to meeting those needs.”
Looking Ahead to More Success
CRI Group is honoured to have proudly served businesses, government agencies and other organisations for the past 30 years. The company’s mission is to safeguard the corporate world by detecting and exposing bribery and corruption before it can cause irreparable harm to a business. ABAC® Center of Excellence also fills a critical role in educating, training and certifying organisations to prevent bribery and corruption.
The industry-leading services CRI Group and ABAC® CoE provide are in high demand, and we look forward to the next 30 years and beyond in preventing and detecting fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour for clients worldwide. Visit CRIgroup.com and ABAC® Center of Excellence today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_section][accordion_father][accordion_son clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be” title=”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 Intelligence, Due 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 clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be” title=”27th Anniversary”]Corporate Research and Investigations Group celebrated its 27th Anniversary in all the offices across the globe. We all know that Company’s Anniversary is a special occasion for all its’ stakeholders because it marks the success of the company. The success of every company is not only linked with the strategies, mission statements and vision but is also backed by the brains behind these, which are our employees. These are our employees who have combined their diligence, inspiration and passion for supporting the management’s vision for bringing CRI Group to this level. CRI celebrates 27 years
Therefore, Mr Zafar Anjum, Group CEO announced lunch for its employees across the globe to commemorate CRI Group’s 27th Anniversary. The wave of excitement was also reflected from employee’s end when they decorated their respective regional offices. Also, colleagues designed personally customised 27th-anniversary cards for all the staff to give a token of thanks for all their efforts they have put in last year. This gesture of distributing cards was extended throughout the group for all CRI Group’s employees worldwide to thank for successful collaboration with each other.
CRI Group’s Senior Management is looking forward to coming year’s milestone achievement with the existing team and longing to extend this celebration to next level towards the year end.[/accordion_son][accordion_son clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be” title=”29th Anniversary”]CRI Group’s mission is to safeguard the corporate world by detecting and exposing bribery and corruption before it can cause irreparable harm to a business. As the global firm celebrates 29 years, the industry-leading services it provides are in high demand. The way companies conduct business has changed dramatically over the past three decades, and preventing and detecting fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour is a leading priority among organisations worldwide.
A Year of Milestones
During just the past year alone, CRI Group’s accomplishments stand out as success stories for organisations that depend on expert help to protect their financial, reputational and legal standing in the face of corruption risks.
A critical part of this effort is the sharing of knowledge and training. CRI Group hosted its third annual Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit, attracting leading industry professionals to Islamabad, Pakistan for insightful keynote addresses, instructional sessions, panel discussions and workshops. In addition, CRI Group’s experts participated as hosts, panelist and speakers at a variety of global conferences addressing anti-bribery management employee background screening solutions, reaching more than 1,200 professionals in 10 cities —and our investigative analysts have detected more than 700 red flags across 80 countries worldwide. If not discovered, any one of these red flags could have turned into the next massive fraud.
CRI Group’s experts also published more than 50 informative articles worldwide to help educate business and industry leaders, government officials, corporate professionals and the public on topics ranging from corruption, due diligence and employee background investigations. These include primary research papers, case studies and features in leading industry publications.
Strategic alliances were formed to help strengthen the fight against fraud and corruption. CRI Group teamed up with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Transparency International, The Malaysian Youth Council and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Foundation to develop a nationwide anti-corruption awareness campaign, reaching more than 30,000 Malaysians on International Anti-Corruption Day. CRI Group also expanded services into Brazil, China and Canada.
ABAC® Center of Excellence
CRI Group’s history was always focused on standing up against the outside forces that, through corruption, collusion, coercion and fraud, can cause financial, organisational, reputational and legal harm to our global clients. To continue protecting organisations worldwide, in 2016, CRI Group’s CEO Zafar Anjum and CRI Group embraced a bold new initiative with the founding of the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption ABAC® Center of Excellence. ABAC Center of Excellence was created to educate, equip and support the world’s leading business organizations with the latest in best-practice due diligence processes and procedures, providing world-class anti-bribery and anti-corruption solutions to organizations seeking to validate or expand their existing compliance frameworks to maintain a competitive edge in the world marketplace. ABAC CoE’s team of expert certification professionals wasted no time developing programs to train and certify organisations in compliance processes, including the comprehensive ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification.
In 2018, CRI Group was granted accreditation by the Emirates International Accreditation Centre – as an ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification and Conformity Assessment Body (the first accreditation of its kind awarded to a certification body specialising in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance standards).
In April 2019, Ethics & Compliance Office of Mubadala Investment Company PJSC, a pioneering global investment firm based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, successfully completed the ABAC Certification program and earned ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard certification.
Head of Ethics and Compliance Office at Mubadala Investment Company PJSC, stated: “We are very proud to attain this certification. It demonstrates our strong commitment to the highest standards of ethics and integrity in our activities. This achievement specifically affirms the presence of anti-bribery management systems across Mubadala that support a culture of transparency and compliance in line with the highest global standards”.
United For Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption
CRI Group hosted its first Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit in 2017 in Karachi, Pakistan, the first event of its kind sharing invaluable expertise in due diligence, internal controls and compliance issues, along with showcasing the latest resources and solutions to detect and prevent combat bribery and corruption. The Summit was such a success that CRI Group hosted the event again in 2018, with CEOs, CFOs, directors, compliance and legal officers, lawyers, and due diligence and risk management professionals gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the second annual Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit.
Just this year, the third annual Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit returned to Pakistan (this time in Islamabad) and it embraced the theme of “Setting the Tone at the Top”. Anjum provided the introductory welcome, noting that the event was a great success at a critical time in the fight against bribery and corruption. “Nowhere is that more prevalent than right here in Pakistan, a country whose Transparency International corruption perception index ranking has decreased steadily over the past several years, thanks to effective anti-corruption programs, increased awareness, and ever-stringent enforcement measures”, Anjum said.
A post-event survey of the attendees found that 79 percent face challenges raising awareness amongst employees about anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures. They are doing something to remedy that, however: 81 percent said they are looking to implement ABMS certification and/or ABMS training at their organisations within the next six months. Attendees noted their overwhelming satisfaction with the event in the survey results, and CRI Group is already looking forward to hosting another successful ABAC Summit in 2020.
CRI Group: Continue Leading Business Towards a Fraud-Free Future
The most successful organisations don’t rest on their laurels – they are constantly innovating and growing to provide new services and resources that directly benefit their clients in real, measurable ways. CRI Group is definitely in this category, charting exciting new paths in investigation, anti-corruption compliance, background checks, due diligence, and an entire range of offerings that fill urgent needs among businesses. With the expansion of ABAC Center of Excellence, the growth of the annual Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Summit, CRI Group’s participation in other industry events and though leadership worldwide, the firm is at the forefront of the newest measures and best practices for preventing and detecting fraud and corruption.
For business and government leaders, catching corruption after its already wreaked havoc is too late. They depend on CRI Group to help uncover and mitigate risks before they cause irreparable harm. For 29 years, CRI Group has proved ready and able to answer the call.