Majority of businesses report economic crime

13 April 2018
A recent survey conducted by accounting firm, PwC on economic crime in Namibia shows that 53 percent of companies have experienced economic crime.
The survey also shows that CEOs and board members are increasingly being held accountable for economic crime.
The PwC Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey examined over 7,200 respondents from 123 countries, of which 68 were from Namibia.
The survey found that only 20 percent of the respondents have conducted an anti-bribery/anti-corruption risk assessment.
It said 63 percent of Namibian respondents have slightly greater level of awareness of the issues and economic challenges facing the country in comparison to the rest of the world.
The survey also found that 18 percent of organisations in Namibia have spent from two to ten times as much on investigations as the original amount lost to economic crime.
In comparison to other countries, the survey showed that South Africa is number one globally at 77 percent, followed in second place by Kenya (75 percent) and France (71 percent).
Half of the top ten countries that reported economic crime come from Africa, the report said.
In the next 24 months, 16 percent of the Namibian companies believe that cybercrime will be the most disruptive economic crime to affect their organisations, the report stated.
“One of the new entries into the bank of options for the types of economic crimes experienced by organisations for the 2018 survey was that of ‘fraud committed by the consumer’. This category was a consolidation of frauds traditionally committed by the end user, including mortgage fraud, credit card fraud, claims fraud, cheque fraud and synthetic ID fraud and the like,” the report said.
The report said this particular crime, which highlights the propensity of the ‘man in the street’ to be a perpetrator of economic crime, makes one look with new eyes at who the victims of economic crime are.
“Globally, fraud committed by the consumer also saw 10 percent of those respondents indicating that this fraud was the most disruptive type of economic crime experienced, followed closely by procurement fraud (at 9 percent). This shows the risk for fraud in the supply chain in Namibia. When combined with the instances of bribery and corruption reported at 25 percent, the resultant erosion in value from our country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is alarming,” the report said.
In South Africa, 11 percent of the respondents lost more than US$100,000 (N$1,2 million) to what they regarded as the most disruptive economic crime to affect them.
PwC has urged Namibia to proactively implement preventative measures to counter fraud, while seeming unpalatable prior to a fraud occurrence, fade in comparison to the true cost of economic crime.
“These measures are not only necessary for prevention, but may be a vital ingredient for the survival of a business,” the report said.
According to the report, in Africa, 41 percent of respondents have increased their spend on combatting fraud since 2016 and 45 percent plan to increase their spend over the next 24 months


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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