UK solicitor sentenced to four years in prison over £2.3m fraud

UK solicitor, Andrew Davies defrauding his firm £2.3m jailed

A former senior partner, the UK solicitor, has been jailed for four years after defrauding his firm out of a total of £2.3m. Andrew Davies, 59, paid personal invoices to himself from the business and under-declared £1.1m in stamp duty land tax to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for over nine years.

Davies pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at Reading Crown Court in 2019 and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in January this year. As a senior partner at the firm, Andrew Davies managed to defraud it out of the money by paying personal invoices to himself from the business account.

The 59-year-old also under-declared £1.1m in Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC over nine years, over-declaring tax to clients and then taking money from the solicitor’s firms account for himself, both defrauding the company he worked for and HMRC at the same time.

Davies also raised invoices to pay over £1.6 million to his friend Stephen Allan, who worked as a property developer and was a firm client. The 62-year-old from Bishop’s Stortford was convicted at Reading Crown Court on one count of money laundering and jailed for three years.

In a statement, police mentioned the convictions and sentencing of a solicitor’s firm in Berkshire defrauded out of £2.3m between 2010 and 2017.

Allan then made smaller payments into Davies’ account and also pocketed around £400,000 himself. The solicitor extracted funds from the firm’s client account, paying it to Allan in transactions described as ‘fees’, but there was no known work for this.

Davies of The Street, West Clandon, Guildford, and Allan of Thornberry Road, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, were charged by police officers in August 2019.

The statement did not name the firm, but a Solicitors Regulation Authority notice has previously stated that Davies worked for Reading firm Pitmans LLP, which has since become part of another practice. Davies has already been struck by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Katie Taylor of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: ‘In this case, a solicitor trusted to safeguard client funds abused this position and systematically defrauded his firm of large sums of money for his benefit.

‘He then used a corrupt relationship to launder the proceeds of his crime through a property developer. These professional enablers of organised crime represent a significant risk, and we hope that the conviction and sentence, in this case, will act as a deterrent to others.’

Source: Financial Crime News & The Law Society Gazette

 

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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 SystemsISO 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.

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CRI Group celebrates World Accreditation Day

Accreditation has a positive impact on consumers, suppliers, purchasers, and regulators across industries and organisations all over the world. Proper accreditation and certification can demonstrate necessary expertise and training, and ensure quality and reputability.

That’s why CRI Group and its ABAC® Center of Excellence celebrates World Accreditation Day on Wednesday, 9 June 2021. We understand that being affiliated with leading certification and accreditation bodies around the globe provides assurance to our clients, partners, and governing organisations that we have the highest level of knowledge and rigorous testing that our field requires.

World Accreditation Day (#WAD2021) is a global initiative established by ILAC and IAF to promote the value of accreditation. This year’s theme is Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “The SDGs are at the core of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a broad and ambitious plan of action with the overarching objective of leaving no one behind. Accreditation, in collaboration with other quality infrastructure institutions, provides the technical foundations that are critical to the functioning of developed and developing societies. It enables industrial development, trade competitiveness in global markets, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, and health and environmental protection”.

While the COVID-19 pandemic might have disrupted the WAD celebration this year, CRI Group and ABAC® encourage you to celebrate with us online while sharing Joint StatementPosterBrochure and videos from the IAF-ILAC Youtube channel published by IAF and ILAC for WAD 2021 to raise awareness on the value of accreditation and look into our certification opportunities and how can it help you to contribute to UN’s SDGs.

Accreditation, WAD, accreditation day

World Accreditation day: Contribute to sustainable development goals with ISO standards

International Standards published by ISO represent globally recognised guidelines and frameworks based on international collaboration. ISO standards “provide a solid base on which innovation can thrive and are essential tools to help governments, industry and consumers contribute to the achievement of every one of the SDGs”. For every SDG goal, ISO has identified the standards that make the most contribution. We are proud to announce that all ISO standard certification, implementation or training offered through ABAC®, contribute to at least 3 of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

On this year’s World Accreditation Day, visit our ABAC® to read the full article and learn more about how your organisation can benefit from ISO standards today.

 

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 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. 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.

CRI Group celebrates 31 years anniversary in May 2021

Thank You For 31 Years of Being With Us!

May 2021, mark our 31 years of serving this industry, its CRI Group anniversary. We are a worldwide provider of a background screeninginvestigative due diligencethird-party risk managementcompliance, 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, the 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 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

This year, CRI Group announced launching a third-party compliance verification and certification program – 3PRM-Certified™ – across the Middle East, Europe, and Asian regions. 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®

We also expanded the 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 allocating 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.

 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 endeavour for organisations in today’s business world, posing 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 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 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

Helping to build a pool of the right candidates

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

Numbers Don’t Lie

Findings From Investigative Team

Recently, CRI Group was tasked to process an employee’s educational credential verification for one of its clients for the post-employment screening process. It was the first time the candidate was undergoing the background screening process, so the subject was already working in the organisation.

CRI Group followed the usual protocol to verifying employee’s education 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 the university had issued no such degree or certificate to the subject. 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 incorrect in university records. The degree was fake or bogus.

Did you know that our investigative team identified that 1.91 per cent of all degrees checked were fake?  The operations team also found that providing incorrect employment details is the most common red flag, as we uncovered in 4.5 per cent of the background screenings. This is followed by providing 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!

Awarding ISO 37001 ABMS Certification

At the beginning of 2020, ABAC® announced that the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) had 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
  • IT/Telecommunications
  • 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”.

Mudajaya Group Bhd, RM Leopad Sdn Bhd 

Utilising the global network of auditors and achieved a 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.”

Ma’aden Group

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? Please find out more about our accredited certification services!

 

Mudajaya Group Berhad awarded with ISO 37001 ABMS certification with ABAC RM Leopad Sdn Bhd awarded with ISO 37001 ABMS certification with ABAC


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. 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.


 

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. 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.

 


 

CRI supports Fraud Week 2020

International Fraud Awareness Week, 15-21 November 2020 – and CRI Group is once again a proud Official Supporter of this global movement. Fraud Week was created to reduce the impact of fraud and corruption by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.

Fraud statistics

Fraud is still increasingly common. Even when it comes to hiring employees, companies must be vigilant. CRI Group’s investigative 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.

> Read more in our article “Background Screening Red flags: Numbers Don’t Lie”.

In another survey conducted by CRI Group, which analysed how COVID-19 has impacted human resources and its functions, it was revealed that companies understand the fraud risk factor during the pandemic: nearly 77 per cent of HR professionals accept that there is a risk that employees can initiate fraudulent activity because of the work-from-home arrangement. Also, the shocking number of survey participants highlighted that they have encountered employee fraud in their career. Luckily, most companies do conduct background screening of some type. In fact, 85 per cent do so, which is important because many companies have learned that trust can be misplaced. While an overwhelming 92 per cent said they trust their employees with confidential data, background screening can help verify that your employees aren’t hiding anything in their backgrounds that might put your company at risk.

> Read more about the survey, as it provides valuable information for companies, employees, and human resources professionals and teams who serve them. It also sheds light on the critical need for increased employee background screening and data protection during a tumultuous time.

Some other stats to note (the following come from the ACFE):

  • The average fraud lasts 18 months before it is discovered. The longer a fraud lasts, the greater the financial damage (schemes that last for several years can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars).
  • The most common detection method for fraud is tips. And organisations that have reporting hotlines are much more likely to detect fraud through tips than organisations without hotlines.

All of the above indicates that the fraud issue is real and organisations must take actions to prevent the fraud risks for their organisations and even careers. For CRI Group, the goal is to help business leaders think about fraud and corruption this week and take steps to minimise it year-round. So, what is your organisation doing for Fraud Week?

Get involved in the Internal Fraud Awareness Week

Join CRI Group and ACFE in the fight against fraud. ACFE provides a great set of the following tools to go a step further in your role and to start discussions amongst peers, co-workers, executives and stakeholders in your community about how important fraud prevention is to society as a whole:

  • Post on social media using new badges and informative images with the tag #fraudweek
  • Add the new Official Fraud Week Supporter badge to your email signature.
  • Invite a CFE to talk to your employees and co-workers virtually on how to avoid common mistakes when preventing fraud.
  • Download the free Fraud Week logo to share on materials or websites.
  • Involve your local chamber of commerce or city council to spread tips on fraud prevention for small businesses.
  • Encourage your governor to issue a proclamation (.doc) declaring that your state supports Fraud Week.
  • Host a talk or seminar for your co-workers or community on regularly staying aware of fraud prevention best practices. You can post that event to share what you are doing on our events page.
  • Perform a fraud check-up for your organisation and present your findings to executives, as well as a proactive plan for how to remedy weak spots in your current controls.

How does CRI Group fight fraud?

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 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 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. 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.

Fraud Week

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_section][accordion_father caption_url=””][accordion_son title=”2018 Fraud Week” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]CRI Group proudly celebrates International Fraud awareness week and highlights that this occasion (called Fraud Week, for short) is an important effort to put a spotlight on fraud, help educate people about its perils and build a fraud-free future.

“Fraud Week reminds us that awareness is any organisation’s first line of defence against fraud and corruption, as properly trained employees will have a better opportunity to recognise the red flags of fraud, and a better understanding of their organisation’s zero-tolerance policy toward such behaviour”, Zafar Anjum, founder and CEO of CRI Group says.

“Fraud is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if employees aren’t provided with the information they need to combat it. Providing a robust anti-fraud training program increases your company’s protection from risks of fraud and unethical behaviour. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”

For CRI Group, though, helping organisations prevent and detect fraud is a year-round commitment. That’s why Fraud Week is a great time to reflect on CRI Group’s recent efforts in the fight against fraud, and to also look ahead to activities on the near horizon. Below are just a few of the highlights.

CRI Group is here to help and create a fraud-free future. Contact us today to learn more about our ABAC training and certification opportunities, our EmploySmart background checking process, our investigative services and other offerings.

 

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.[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”2017 Fraud Week” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]2017 International Fraud Awareness Week (also called “Fraud Week”) kicked off on Sunday and is in full swing. CRI Group is a proud supporter of this important initiative every year, and we encourage business leaders to take this time to consider all of their fraud prevention measures, including anti-fraud training for employees.

Does your organisation have a training program in place that addresses fraud, bribery and corruption? And, if so, how robust is your training? How often is it administered? And how do you know it’s working?

These are important questions, especially considering the fact that we know most fraud is discovered internally through employee tips. A recent case study is a perfect illustration of that.

Case study: Conflicts of interest

A major pharmaceutical company’s security department received conflict of interest complaints that reportedly involved a range of employees, from sales personnel on up to the chief financial officer (CFO).  The company engaged CRI Group to conduct an integrity due diligence and conflict of interest investigation in order to uncover unethical practices, including bribery and corruption, by senior employees.

CRI Group’s investigators quickly launched a risk assessment of the company’s third-party relationships, which included several interviews with identified vendors and suppliers to help ascertain the engagement process and associated risks.

Investigators found one of the vendors used letterhead that lacked a physical address, and the only contact information listed was a single cell phone number. Site visits, background checks and interviews helped determine that the suspicious vendor was not a company at all – but a single person, and he was none other than the brother-in-law of the client company’s CFO. Worse still was the fact that this obvious fraud was being conducted right under the noses of the company’s procurement and finance professionals.

CRI Group investigators discovered that the individual’s residence was being utilised as a warehouse to help facilitate the fraud. Comprehensive litigation records check with local and regional courts found that the subject was previously convicted in federal court and spent three years in prison for the charges of selling counterfeit products, physician samples and expired medicines; further regulatory checks found that his pharmacist license had been cancelled.

The fraud had continued for five years. However, the one thing that saved the company from further financial harm was the fact that employees had stepped forward to report unethical behaviour. If not for their action, the fraud could have continued indefinitely.

Fraud Week reminds us that awareness is any organisation’s first line of defence against fraud and corruption, as properly trained employees will have a better opportunity to recognise the red flags of fraud, and a better understanding of their organisation’s zero-tolerance policy toward such behaviour.

CRI’s Certification body, ABAC Center of Excellence provides employee training as part of the curriculum for a participating organisation. In fact, ISO 37001:2016 certifies that your organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery, and these measures involve training, top-level leadership, bribery risk assessment, due diligence adequacy, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit and investigation.

Some key things to remember:

  • Anti-fraud training should be mandatory. This includes managers and executives, who should also receive special training regarding their position of responsibility.
  • Anti-fraud training should be an element of new employee orientation. After that, it should be provided to all employees on an annual basis, if not more frequently.
  • Training might be presented live (in-class), on video or online in an interactive format. The live class is preferred, as it allows questions and personal engagement. However, in today’s business world, some employees work remotely and an online format may be more feasible.

Fraud is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if employees aren’t provided with the information they need to combat it. Providing a robust anti-fraud training program increases your company’s protection from risks of fraud and unethical behaviour. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

Learn more about how CRI Group and the ABAC Center of Excellence can help you have a well-trained workforce serving as your front line of defence against fraud, bribery and corruption.

 

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.[/accordion_son][/accordion_father][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]

CRI Group Joins Movement to Shine a Spotlight on Fraud

International Fraud Awareness Week kicks off Nov. 15, 2020 worldwide

Fraud costs organisations worldwide an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The ACFE’s 2020 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse analysed 2,690 occupational fraud cases that caused a total loss of more than $7.1 billion.

The seriousness of the global fraud problem is why CRI Group announced that it will be participating in International Fraud Awareness Week, Nov. 15-21, 2020, as an official supporter to promote anti-fraud awareness and education. The movement, known commonly as Fraud Week, champions the need to proactively fight fraud and help safeguard business and investments from the growing fraud problem.

CRI Group joins hundreds of organisations who have partnered with the ACFE, the world’s largest anti-fraud organisation and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education, for the yearly Fraud Week campaign. As an official supporter, CRI Group will continue engaging in various activities, including raising awareness for businesses on how to prevent fraudulent actions within and outside their organisations.

CRI Group has been a supporter and active participant of the Fraud Awareness Week since the very beginning. Zafar Anjum, CRI Group founder and CEO, said: “It is a crucial awareness tool to put a spotlight on fraud and encourage organisations to take action not just this week, but year-round. Since 1990, we have been safeguarding businesses from fraud, bribery and corruption by providing due diligence, background checks, investigations, risk management solutions and by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with global businesses. This week is crucial for highlighting the global problem of fraud, and we are happy to see that every year, more and more organisations get involved in and support the Fraud Week.”

ACFE CEO and President Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, said that the support of organisations around the world helps make Fraud Week an effective tool in raising anti-fraud awareness.

“Fraud is an issue that unfortunately affects people from all walks of life around the world and it takes many forms,” said Dorris. “Whether it’s a trusted employee stealing from a small business, or organised rings of fraudsters targeting seniors in our community, most people know someone who’s been victimised by fraud. That’s why it’s so important for organisations to join in this fight together in order to raise awareness during this week. It is a serious problem that requires a proactive approach toward preventing it and educating people is the first step.”

For more information about increasing awareness and reducing the risk of fraud during International Fraud Awareness Week, visit FraudWeek.com.

The 2020 Report to the Nations is available for download online at the ACFE’s website: ACFE.com/RTTN. The Report is in PDF format.

About the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
Based in Austin, Texas, the ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organisation and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with more than 85,000 members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud worldwide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession. For more information, visit ACFE.com.

For More Information Contact:
CRI Group: Austeja Kibildyte, austeja.kibildyte@crigroup.com
ACFE: Sarah Hofmann, (512) 478-9000
E-mail: SHofmann@ACFE.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 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.

CRI Group’s ABAC® anniversary: 4 years of achievements

CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence Limited is excited to be celebrating the 4 years anniversary since its formation back in 2016.

At ABAC®, we are committed to helping businesses fight bribery and corruption inside and outside their organisations. Every day, we work extensively to promote transparent business relations across the world and spread knowledge about the negative impact of bribery and corruption.

For the last four years, we educated, equipped and supported the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk assessments, performance assessments, systems improvement and standards certification.

To commit with our promise to ensure the highest quality of certification and training services, ABAC® is affiliated with leading certification and accreditation bodies around the world. These affiliations and accreditations help demonstrate the high level of experience, knowledge and credibility we provide in anti-bribery, risk and compliance management to our clients on a daily basis. That’s why ABAC® has achieved essential accreditations from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), Emirates International Accreditation Center (EIAC) for ISO 37001 Certification, and membership in the Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB).

ABAC® is also a member of the “Partner in Corporate Governance” programme with the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) and a Corporate Member of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M). From the last year, ABAC® became a registered vendor of the Ministry of Finance Malaysia, got registered with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation under the Malaysia Ministry of International Trade and Industry, has been accepted as an Alliance Partner of Business Integrity Alliance, Malaysia, and became an Observing Member of Association of Anti-Bribery Management System Practitioner, Malaysia. Learn more about our affiliations and accreditations here.

The past year has helped ABAC® to expand our network even more and establish core business relationship across different regions. The bigger ABAC® team is thankful to all clients, partners and global teams for being together in this journey and wishes for many more years of continuous partnerships.

See below our timelines.

Who is CRI Group & ABAC?

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 clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be” title=”2 Years Anniversary”]ABAC celebrates 2 years since the formation of the CRI Certification, now re-branded as the ABAC Center of Excellence, back in October 2016. For two years we have gone from strength to strength, having hosted two ABAC Summits in both Pakistan and Malaysia, with plans for more to come.

2018 has seen great advances for us. This year CRI Group has been granted accreditation by the Emirates International Accreditation Center – EIAC (formerly known as Dubai Accreditation Center – DAC) for the scope of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Conformity Assessment Body. The accreditation is the first of its kind awarded to a certification body specialising in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance standards.

Similarly, our application for UKAS has now been accepted and we are working hard towards achieving this further accreditation, thus giving us that greater credibility edge. We are excited to see where the next two years moving forward will take us.

Let’s stay connected!

ABAC® anniversary

 

3 Years Anniversary

CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence is proud to be celebrating three-years anniversary since its formation back in 2016. For three years, ABAC has gone from strength to strength, having hosted three ABAC® Summits in Karachi, Islamabad and Kuala Lumpur, with plans for more to come. During this time, ABAC® was accredited by EIAC for administering ISO 37001 certification, audited and awarded clients with ISO 37001 ABMS certifications, collaborated with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Transparency International, The Malaysian Youth Council and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Foundation to develop a nationwide anti-corruption awareness campaign on International Anti-Corruption Day and initiated other activities to fight bribery and corruption globally. Bribery and corruption is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if your employees aren’t provided with the information and training they need to combat it.

ABAC® is committed to promoting transparency and compliance to businesses and their professional relationships. Let’s address bribery and corruption together.

ABAC® anniversary

CEO Clubs Pakistan has coffee with CRI Group’s CEO

CRI Group’s CEO Zafar Anjum has 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!

CEO Clubs Pakistan is a Chapter of the CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, a membership-based by invitation only Club and the largest business networking Club where members get connected with over 16,000 CEOs & senior executives across various industries globally. Being focused on business connection & development, therefore we strive to provide excellent business platform with unique opportunities for Club’s members expanding their businesses.

CEO Clubs Network Chapters are and have links in more than 25 countries. Our members are business elites, diplomats and government officials gathered together to exchange knowledge, share experiences, industries insights and trends. CEO Clubs Network creates diverse and multi-cultural atmosphere through its regular exclusive member gatherings in Dubai and other parts of the world with strong networking power and B2B connections which speed up business development for our members.

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.

CRI Group celebrates 30 Years

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 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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CRI Named Certified Provider by HRO Today Association

CRI Group has been approved by the HRO Today Association as a Certified Provider to the human resources services industry. CRI Group completed a rigorous audit process and “demonstrated a high level of accountability of standards and ethics,” according to an HRO Today Association statement.

Established in 1990, We are a leading global provider of expert employee background screening services. Serving clients worldwide, CRI Group also provides investigative due diligence, third-party risk management, compliance and other professional investigative research services. Addressing a need for thorough pre- and post-employment background screening, CRI Group developed its own EmploySmart™ background screening service to avoid negligent hiring liabilities. EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within an organisation.

Proper pre-employment checks can reduce the risk of hiring someone who could cause irrevocable damage. Zafar Anjum, founder and CEO of CRI Group, said “Firms spend years, thousands, even millions to brand their products and services, and one bad hire can cause loss of capital and reputation. EmploySmart™ focuses on using best practices, technological solutions, and a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to provide the best possible background screening for clients.”

“We are extremely proud to be recognised by HRO Today Association for our diligence and rigorous processes to ensure best practices across organisations,” Anjum said. “At CRI Group, we share the vision with HRO Today Association that shifting demographics and increased globalisation means that human resources truly lead from the front among employers, candidates and customers,” Anjum said.

“The HRO Today Association has long been the HR industry’s standard-setting organisation,” said Renee Preston, Global Executive Director of the HRO Today Association. “We are pleased to add CRI Group to the growing list of certified providers who are dedicated to offering the highest level of service to the HR community.”

About HRO Today Provider Certification Program

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.

Let us know if you would like to learn more

If you have any further questions or interest in implementing compliance solutions, please contact us. 

CRI Group has safeguarded businesses from any risks, providing investigations (i.e. insurance fraud), employee background screening, investigative due diligence, business intelligencethird-party risk management, forensic accounting, compliance and other professional investigative research services. 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.

How to demonstrate “Adequate Procedures” in Malaysia?

Adequate Procedures in Malaysia, how to demonstrate it?

Adequate procedures in Malaysia are the guidelines issued by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). It also is a term made popular through the UK Bribery Act of 2010. It presents a company’s potential to avoid liability for failing to prevent bribery if that organisation can fully demonstrate clear, sound and established policies and procedures that deter individuals (inside and outside of the organisation) from partaking in questionable or corrupt conduct.

Malaysian National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023

Under Section 17A (3) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, if the commercial organisation is found liable under the corporate liability provisions, a person who is the director, controller, officer or partner of the organisation, or a person who is concerned with the organisation’s management affairs at the time of the commission of an offence, is deemed to have committed that offence unless such person can prove that the corrupt act was committed without his consent or connivance and that he exercised due diligence to prevent that commission of the offence as he ought to have exercised with regard to the nature of his function in that capacity and the circumstances.

Hence, there is a need for the company to put in place “adequate procedures” as a defence in case there is proven corruption by the associated individual.  The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission MACC has issued guidelines that constitute “adequate procedures.” In the National Anti-Corruption Plan, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia on 29th January 2019 developed initiative number 2.1.3 which seeks

To introduce Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS)MS ISO 37001 certification in all Government agencies”  within two years (Jan 2019-Dec 2020).

The guidelines further state in initiative 6.2.4:

To propose Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) MSISO 37001 certification as a requirement for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Company Limited By Guarantee (CLBG) and the private sector to bid for Government contracts”.

In complying with these guidelines and to prove “adequate procedures”, public and private sector organisations should implement the ISO 37001 certification process which would provide proper assurance that the organisation has succeeded in establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving its Anti-Bribery Management System.

State of Corruption in Malaysia

In Malaysia, apathy and ignorance towards bribery and corruption in your business will personally cost you. Malaysia’s seemingly never-ending battle to combat bribery and corruption took a decidedly different turn on June 1st of this year, as specific measures go into effect that saddle corporations and other organisations – along with their directors, controllers and senior management – with the full burden of proving that they are not involved in allegations of corrupt activity by their employees and third-party partners. That burden of proof means that corporations will have to effectively demonstrate that policies and procedures are firmly in place that deters, detect and defend against incidences of bribery at all levels of the organisation.

While a large part of the political and economic universe still believes that engaging in some form of corruption is the only way to survive and advance, many countries now are taking drastic measures to root out corruption, and Malaysia is rushing to the forefront of that trend. Currently ranked at 51 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s “Corruption Perception Index” (2019), with a score of 53 (where 0 is perceived to be highly corrupt and 100 is perceived to be very clean), the Malaysian government emerged from the highly publicized 1MDB financial scandal on high alert and with a firm resolve to adopt tough anti-corruption legislation as one of its main priorities.

The result was the empowerment of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and its 2009 Act which addressed corruption on both the political and private sector levels.  The Parliament’s subsequent amendment – Section 17A – was added in 2018, which likened the legislation to the UK Bribery Act but added a “parallel” element of personal criminal liability in corporate bribery cases. And that’s where business organisations need to take notice and take immediate action.

Demonstrating “Adequate Procedures” through ISO 37001 Certification

ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System is an internationally accepted standard that specifies the procedures by which an organisation should implement in preventing bribery while detecting and reporting any bribery incident that occurs. The standard requires organisations to implement these procedures on a reasonable and proportionate basis according to the type and size of the organisation, and the nature and extent of bribery risks faced. It applies to small, medium and large organisations in the public and private sector and can be implemented in any country. Though it will not provide absolute assurance that bribery will completely cease, the standard can help establish that the organisation has in place reasonable, proportionate and adequate anti-bribery procedures.

ABAC® Center of Excellence Limited is fully accredited as a Conformity Assessment Body (Certification Body) to assist your organisation in attaining ISO 37001 certification through a thorough bribery risk assessment and audit covering the entire scope of the standard The audit methodology is evidence-based, meaning any issues raised will be confirmed through adequate evidence that the ABAC® Certification team has discovered during the audit. Auditing techniques take a risk-based approach to examining your organisation’s Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS), and the ABAC® Certification team will increase the scale of the investigation if they determine that a specific process presents a higher risk side.  Factors such as Impact, Negligence, Minor, Major, and Critical are taken into consideration during the audit.

A separate audit method is a process-based approach where the ABAC® Certification examines the organisation’s processes while considering the interaction between those processes.  Finally, there is a sampling-based audit approach where ABAC® Certification incorporates an appropriate sampling plan utilising samples from different ABMS processes to conclude and support the audit findings and results.

The audit is extremely thorough in its approach, which results in accredited certification for the scope of the ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System.  Because of the standard’s international acceptance and the thoroughness of the audit process, such certification can provide a valuable safeguard in demonstrating an “adequate procedures” compliance defence in cases posing a liability for a company’s failure to prevent bribery. Indeed, from an FCPA perspective, certification may provide tangible evidence that a compliance program was in place at the time of the alleged bribery actions. And from a UK Bribery Act perspective, the certification could provide the company with tangible prima facie evidence presented by an accredited certification body attesting to the establishment and effectiveness of the organisation’s compliance program. Notably, per Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Prime Minister’s National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 has declared ISO 37001 certification a requirement for companies operating in Malaysia.

There is a strong likelihood that ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System will continue to set the pace for a globally recognised “adequate procedures” standard for corporations embroiled in corruption litigation proceedings. But for now, the most powerful “insurance” tool that public and private sector organisations can use in their defence strategy is ISO 37001 ABMS certification.

 

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 the 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.