‘Fraud eats away 5pc of global GDP’

MUSCAT, SEPT 14 – Abdullah al Salmi, Executive President of Capital Market Authority (CMA), inaugurated the one-day conference of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s (ACFE ) on the theme, ‘Fraud and Financial Crime’, at the Sheraton Oman Hotel last week. Welcoming the delegates, Davis Kallukaran, President of ACFE Oman Chapter, said that on an average, businesses across the world lose 5 per cent of their revenue to fraud every year. “If you assume the global GDP at $88 trillion, this will amount to $4.4 trillion, which is far more than the combined GDP of the Middle Eastern countries, aggregating around $3.8 trillion only in 2018,” Kallukaran noted.
The profession of Fraud Examiners who are involved in the deterrence, prevention and detection of financial crimes is an increasingly coveted vocation in the world economy, according to the ACFE, noting that the fraternity of 85,000 CFEs are instrumental in reducing fraud globally.
At the forum, speakers representing regulatory agencies as well as practicing fraud investigation professionals engaged the audience on topics ranging from Anti-Corruption, Anti-bribery, Procurement Fraud, Cybercrime, Money Laundering and Terrorism Funding, Fraud Risk Management to Regulatory Framework to Combat Fraud.
Adil Buhariwalla, Partner — Risk Advisory, Crowe Mak UAE, pointed out that fraud is not easily identifiable. “We need to identify and address any red flags,” he said.
Muneer al Mughairi, President — The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Oman Chapter, highlighted the importance of whistleblowing policies in every organisation. Dr Abdullah al Balushi, Director — Risk Advisory at EY, drew attention to the growing threat from cyber-crime internationally. Said al Hajiri, Director Training at the State Audit Institution, spoke about Procurement Fraud, while Sultan Ibrahim al Balushi from NCFI-ROP, elaborated on the existence of shell companies which hide the existence of real owners and which sometimes leads to terrorism funding.
The programme concluded with a brief presentation by Jose Chacko, Vice-President — ACFE Oman Chapter, on the aftermath of the Panama Papers scandal, and the relevance of Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption regulation.
Delegates from the ROP, CBO, State Audit and other regulatory agencies attended the event, along with the participants from the banking and non-banking financial services, business community and students and faculties from various educational institutions.