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New Report on the State of Economic Crime in the Middle East

International - Friday, February 28, 2014

PwC released the second edition Global Economic Crime Survey, with the first one issued in 2011. The Survey collects and analyzes information on the respondents’ perceptions and experiences of the intentional use of deceit to deprive another from money, property or a legal right, including asset misappropriation, cybercrime, bribery and corruption, accounting fraud, procurement fraud, human resource fraud, money laundering and others
The Survey’s results for the Middle East were shared at the 5th Annual Middle East Summit on Anti-Corruption, which took place in Dubai on 26-27 February 2014. The event, which mostly brings together representatives of the business community in Gulf countries, was also attended this year by the Assistant Vice President of the Saudi Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Manager of UNDP’s Regional Project on Anti-Corruption and Integrity in Arab Countries. 
The Middle East Survey was based on the answers of 232 respondents from 9 Arab countries, mainly including senior executives of organization employing more than 5,000 persons, working in financial services, energy/utilities/mining, and professional services.
Overall, it shows that 21% of respondents reported incidents of economic crime, which constitutes a 7% decrease compared to 2011. This contrasts with the global trend, which showed 3% increase over the same period standing at 37% in 2014. The financial impact of economic crime, however, remains high in the region, with 12% of respondents estimating that it had cost their business more than USD 5 million in the last 2 years, while 38% predicted that their organization will suffer from some form of economic crime in the next 2 years.
Asset misappropriation remains by far the most commonly reported type of economic crime. Bribery and corruption came in third, after cybercrime, with 35% of respondents reporting it, which is an 8% decrease from 2011, but an 8% higher than the global average. Furthermore, 18% of respondents indicated that their organization had been asked to pay a bribe, while 24% expressed a belief that their organization had lost out to a competitor who had paid a bribe.
Among the Survey’s results is also the revelation that most prevalent profile of a perpetrator is a male internal staff member in a senior management position, aged between 41 and 50.


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