CRI® Group celebrates its UK anniversary!

CRI® Group is delighted to be celebrating its UK birthday today. Being a global leader in Risk, Compliance and Anti-Corruption Management Systems, and a provider of a background screeninginvestigative due diligencethird-party risk managementcompliance, and other professional investigative research services, CRI® Group is thrilled to have accomplished a multitude of milestones despite that abrupt occurrence of the pandemic. 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.

CRI® Group: A Brief History

CRI® Group was initially founded as the “Metropolitan Detective Agency”, a one-person private investigation firm that dealt with insurance claim investigations by Mr Muhammad Anwar Naveed – father of CRI® Group CEO Mr Zafar I. Anjum. In 1990, Mr Zafar Anjum (a former member of the Pakistan Rangers who had received a Graduate Diploma from Pakistan Detective Training Institute PDTI) officially launched the organisation as a signposted district level detection agency with services ranging from insurance claim fraud investigations to background checks and due diligence.

While working on one insurance fraud case, Mr Zafar Anjum realised that a specific aspect of the affair struck him: Whereas the justice system deals with most types of crime, fraud is peculiar in that it often mandates investigation by an external agency or organisation which specialises in fraud detection.

“I noticed that such organisations were sorely lacking in Pakistan at the time – and that there was a distinct lack of counter fraud education in the general population, which aided those committing fraud greatly”, Mr. Zafar Anjum said. “Furthermore, even where individuals were aware that they were being defrauded, they lacked the knowledge of how to effectively resolve disputes between themselves and the defrauder. Therefore, we started a very first corporate investigation company in Pakistan specialising in Fraud Risk Investigations, Risk Consulting and Compliance solutions”.

Mr Zafar Anjum raised the firm to a new level in 2001 when he incorporated and registered it in Pakistan as a Private Limited Company with a new name: Corporate Research and Investigations (Private) Limited, offering full-scale investigative research services. Corporate Research and Investigations Limited were incorporated in 2006 in the UK, and Corporate Research and Investigations LLC DIFC was incorporated in 2008 in UAE. Today, the company stands as a 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 affiliation.

CRI® Group is a global firm with experts and resources located in key regional marketplaces across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America. The company’s success and growth continue, even expanding into North and South America and Asia while opening three new branches in Toronto (Canada), São Paulo (Brazil) and Shanghai (China) pre-pandemic. 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, an organisation needs to recognise that it is targeted by hostile entities seeking to take advantage of its market presence. One of the company’s key challenges is corporate finances control and movement and ensuring 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

Find out more about our AML Advisory Solutions

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, organisations cannot overestimate the consequences of inadequate due diligence. 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. It is to company leaders considering how to better equip their teams with the best knowledge and skills. Learn more about our 3PRM-Certified™ download our 3PRM Brochure

ISO 31000 training through ABAC®

We also expanded risk management services 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. They want to know more about the standard implementation. The online training engages with thought-provoking activities and assessments and helps develop the knowledge that suits teams best – our e-learning platform is user-friendly. It provides 24/7 access during the designated course material access days. After the course, graduates will recognise, evaluate, assess and treat risk with confidence. Learn more about our ISO training with ABAC®

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 promoting 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.

Featured in leading industry resources

This spring, CRI® Group and its ABAC® were featured as industry leaders in Financier Worldwide’s in-depth Features: Anti-Money Laundering in UAE 2021Corporate 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 the 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 the CEO of 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 specific countries and introduce or be introduced of Investment and Partnership Opportunities, Joint Ventures, Mergers etc. Click below and watch the coffee session now! Stay updated and sign up for our newsletter.

Eliminating Risks In Human Resources And Helping To Build A Pool Of The Right Candidates

CRI® Group conducted the survey to measure human resources’ pulse and identify how can CRI® Group support 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 impacting 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:

Numbers don’t lie – findings from an investigative team

For the post-employment screening process, CRI® Group was recently 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, so the subject was already working in the organisation.

To verify employees’ 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 subject’s educational credentials and certificates, the University informed the researcher that no such degree or certificate had been issued to the topic. On further investigation and re-verification of the mark-sheet certificate, the University issued a formal statement. It 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 our team uncovered it in about 4.5 per cent of background screenings. This is followed by delivering incorrect education degree details and 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!

CRI® Group is honoured to have proudly served organisations, government agencies and other bodies 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 more years in preventing and detecting fraud, corruption, and unethical behaviour for clients worldwide. Visit CRI Group and ABAC® Center of Excellence today.

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