In May 2021, the CRI Group celebrates 31 years anniversary. We are a worldwide provider of background screening, investigative due diligence, third-party risk management, compliance, and other professional investigative research services. From the very beginning, the 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 organisations on every level, and together achieved many significant accomplishments within just the past year alone. From expanding service capabilities to launching podcasts, CRI Group and ABAC® have been busy helping businesses overcome risk management challenges. We collated a few of our achievements below.
Enhancing service capabilities across the globe
Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
As part of our commitment to supplying organisations to address AML challenges in the best way possible, we have extended our scope of the AML services package. At CRI Group, we understand that as a business entity with a range of subsidiary partner operations that cross several distinct business sectors, organisation needs to recognise that it is targeted by hostile entities seeking to take advantage of its market presence. One of the key challenges the company face is corporate finances control and movement, and the need to ensure that effective Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Framework procedures and practices are in place. Organisations also need to comply with national, regional, and international legislative frameworks. As this might be overwhelming, we created the following scope of work for organisations to demonstrate adequate procedures:
- In-Depth Anti-Money Laundering Risk Assessment
- GAP Analysis for the scope of ISO 37301:2021 Compliance Management System
- Provision of AML Framework
- Global Sanction Screening and Third-Party Risk Management
Third-party risk management services
Earlier this year, CRI Group announced launching a third-party compliance verification and certification program – 3PRM-Certified™ – across the Middle East, Europe, and Asian region. This Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) program can help organisations establish the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers, and customers seeking to affiliate with their business.
Third-party relationships are critical in business today and include partnerships with suppliers, distributors, consultants, agents, and other contractors. While such affiliations are essential to the success of organisations, the consequences of inadequate due diligence cannot be overestimated. The risk of data breaches and supply chain disruptions continues to rise with COVID-19, so does the need for an effective TPRM program. 3PRM-Certified™ program is an all-in solution for global organisations and experts from TPRM professionals looking for a certification to advance their skillsets, to company leaders considering how to better equip their teams with the best knowledge and skills.
ISO 31000 training through ABAC®
Risk management services were also expanded through CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence. This year, ABAC® launched the ISO 31000 risk management training, which helps organisations see both the positive opportunities and negative consequences associated with risk, and allow for more informed, and thus more effective, decision making, namely in the allocation of resources. This standard can be an active component in improving an organisation’s governance and, ultimately, its performance.
This course is intended for risk, compliance, and finance managers and professionals looking to expand their understanding of risk management, and ISO 31000 auditors, wanting to know more about the standard implementation. The online training engages with thought-provoking activities and assessments and helps to develop the knowledge at the time that suits teams best – our e-learning platform is user-friendly and provides 24/7 access during the designated course material access days. After the course, graduates will be able to recognise, evaluate, assess and treat risk with confidence.
On a mission to promote transparency and ethics
The very first ABAC® podcast
At CRI Group and ABAC® Center of Excellence, we are committed to spreading the knowledge about the negative impact of bribery and corruption to global businesses and promote transparent business relations across the world. Every day, we work extensively to deliver the news, whitepapers, and other insights to help organisations overcome bribery and corruption challenges and manage risks more effectively. As part of this effort, in spring 2021, we introduced our very first ABAC® podcast, where you can listen to the insights from our team into risk, compliance, and anti-bribery anti-corruption solutions at the time and place of your convenience. Listen to the very first ABAC® podcast series on Spotify or Anchor!
Anti-bribery, anti-corruption and risk management webinars
During the last year, CRI Group’s ABAC® was proud to partner up with leading organisations in Malaysia for ABAC events – Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG), Christopher & Lee Ong, and hosted webinars on Section 17a of the MACC Malaysia Act, how to Combat Corruption, Fraud, and Economic Crime, and how to Protect Companies from the Global Corruption Pandemic.
Interested in future events? In May 2021, ABAC® will be hosting a free webinar, helping organisations to understand what to do in the first 48 hours after discovered bribery, how to prepare for such crisis management, and finally, how to manage the risks more effectively and minimise the chances of such a situation happening at all.
Be the first to know – sign up for the newsletter to stay updated on upcoming events or explore our library of recorded webinars that provide an insight into nowadays compliance, bribery, and corruption issues and provide solutions to how to extend your risk management programs to stay in compliance with international and local laws and regulations.
The very first risk management and ABMS playbook
We understand, that risk management is a full-time, ongoing endeavor for organisations in today’s business world, and it poses constant challenges. Unfortunately, fraud, bribery, and corruption are major factors affecting businesses and agencies of all sizes and industries. Being proactive against these risks can mean the difference between success and ruin.
In 2020, we published the Risk Management and ABMS Playbook that provides tools, checklists, case studies, FAQs, and other resources to help organisations lead to better preparedness and compliance. The first section addresses risk management directly: proper third-party risk management and due diligence take centre stage for this game plan. Section two tackles bribery and corruption, with tried-and-true measures you can implement to stay better protected and in compliance with strict laws and regulations. Get your copy now!
Featured in leading industry resources
This spring, CRI Group and its ABAC® were featured as industry leaders in Financier Worldwide’s InDepth Features: Anti-Money Laundering in UAE 2021, Corporate fraud & corruption in the UK & UAE 2021. CRI Group’s CEO Zafar Anjum was also interviewed at FW’s Investigations & White-Collar Crime 2021 issue and was invited to speak at The MGCC® Podcast by Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry to talk about the ever-present topic of corruption and bribery.
Zafar Anjum has also been invited to have coffee with CEO Clubs Pakistan. Called a “Trillion Dollar Club”, CEO Clubs Network holds high-level delegation visits to various countries to meet distinguished business figures, community leaders & government officials of certain countries and introduce or be introduced of Investment and Partnership Opportunities, Joint Ventures, Mergers etc. Click below and watch the coffee session now!
Eliminating risks in human resources and helping to build a pool of the right candidates
CRI Group conducted the survey to measure the pulse of human resources and to identify how can CRI Group support the HR needs during a challenging time in business worldwide. The survey revealed that few in the HR world are untouched by COVID-19: more than 88 per cent of respondents said that the pandemic is having an impact on their HR operations, and 65 per cent are considering new ways to retain employees during the crisis. To help tackle the challenges and to give more clarity on the employee background checks best practices during this difficult time and beyond, CRI Group produced the following publications:
- eBook on Employee Screening during COVID-19
- Collated frequently asked questions about employee background checks
- BS 7858:2019 eBook detailing the updated “Screening of Individuals Working in a Secure Environment – Code of Practice
- Infographic helping HR audience to understand industry trends
- And more!
Numbers don’t lie: findings from an investigative team
Recently, for the purpose of the post-employment screening process, CRI Group was tasked to process an employee’s educational credential verification for one of its clients. It was the first time the candidate was undergoing the background screening process, so the subject was already working in the organisation.
To verify employee’s education, CRI Group followed the usual protocol and reached out to the university to initiate the degree verification process. When the local investigator contacted the University with the information of the subject’s educational credentials and certificates, the university informed the researcher that no such degree or certificate has been issued by the university to the subject. On further investigation and re-verification of the mark-sheet certificate, the university issued a formal statement and informed CRI Group that upon checking the mentioned seat number/serial number/registration number of the provided degree in their database, it was found to be incorrect in university records. Consequently, the degree claimed by the candidate was confirmed to be fake or bogus.
Did you know that our investigative team identified that 1.91 % of all degrees checked were fake? The operations team also 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. That might be eye-watering news to organisations when they become victims of such employee fraud schemes. Did you take good care of screening your candidates? Get in touch for a free risk assessment!
Awarding clients with accredited ISO 37001 ABMS certification
At the beginning of 2020, ABAC® announced that the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has accredited its ABAC Certification services for administering the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard in Banking and Finance, Real Estate, Property, Legal Business Services, Construction and Public Administration and Contracts, Power Generation and Transmission, Mining, Oils, Gases / Utilities, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, Transport and Storage.
But as part of the continuous effort to provide the highest level of services and to help businesses across different industries to curb bribery and corruption, ABAC® has recently extended the scope of UKAS accreditation and got accredited in additional business sectors:
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
- Light and Heavy Manufacturing
Huma Khalid, the Scheme Manager at ABAC® said: “The following achievements certify that ABAC® is a front runner in offering accredited ISO 37001 Certification services across the world. Accreditation from UKAS is seen as a badge of honour and critical to giving our customers confidence in the competency and quality of ABAC’s certification services for ISO 37001:2016 ABMS”.
Utilising the global network of auditors and achevied level of accreditation, ABAC® this year certified ethical and anti-bribery anti-corruption focused organisations in Malaysia – Mudajaya Group Bhd and RM Leopad Sdn Bhd. “RM Leopad Sdn Bhd is very proud to achieve this ISO 37001:2016 certification,” said D.K. Guru, CEO of RM Leopad. “By this we have demonstrated that we are strongly committed to the highest standards of integrity and transparency in all our activities. This is a testimony of RM Leopad’s quest to incorporate this into our work culture both locally and internationally.”
ABAC® was proud to certify the first organisation certified for ISO 37001 ABMS in Saudi Arabia – Ma’aden. Ma’aden’s CEO commented on the certification: “Integrity is one of our four core values at Ma’aden. For us, that includes honesty, fairness, and the highest ethical and business standards in our relationships with each other and with our stakeholders. ISO 37001 certification demonstrates our continued commitment to those values in preventing bribery and corruption at every level and reinforces the work of our Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) department, which is also supported by an independent whistleblower hotline to ensure complete transparency. We at Ma’aden are committed to running an ethical company that always focuses on concern and respect for our people, the communities we touch and the environments we operate in.”
“ABAC® has noticed the growth in organisations aiming to ensure the highest level of compliance in detecting and preventing bribery, and recognising the benefits of ISO 37001 certification for such purpose. We are honoured to know that more organisations contribute to our mission of promoting transparency in global business relations”, commented Kanwal Zafar, Managing Director at ABAC®.
Would you like to be on top with demonstrating your commitment to anti-bribery and anti-corruption culture? Find out more about our accredited certification services!
Looking ahead to more success
CRI Group is honoured to have proudly served businesses, government agencies and other organisations for the past 31 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® 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 CRI Group and ABAC® Center of Excellence today.