Commercial crime under the spotlight
September 2002, Security Services & Risk Management
The consolidation of SAPS commercial crime squads into effective regional units will have a considerable impact on white-collar crime countrywide. Deputy national commissioner Louis Eloff said these units would specialise in more complex and potentially damaging crimes.
"This is not to say that smaller cases of fraud will not be adequately attended to. There is enough expertise to deal with issues such as forged and fraudulent cheques and other cases of fraud within SAPS to ensure that all cases are handled effectively. If necessary, difficult cases can be escalated to the specialised units." He said the new specialised units would be staffed according to the amount of white-collar crime in specific regions.
Tom Bouwer, who heads up the Business Against Crime commercial crime project, said consolidation of commercial crime squads into more effective regional units would go a long way to regaining control of white-collar crime. "There is no question that it is a very serious problem. At present, more than R40 bn a year is being siphoned off the economy by white-collar criminals - more than is being earned by the entire tourism industry. In addition, we have lost considerable amounts due to foreign investment not happening at the scale that we need to create jobs."
Howard Griffiths, managing director of private investigations company Griffiths and Associates, said white-collar crime had become a serious threat to the economy. "Based on our experience, I believe we need more and better trained commercial crime specialists in the South African Police Service, which the present restructuring seems to address." Responding to the latest KMPG fraud survey, which for the first time included the public sector, he said the massive 13% leap in employee fraud reported since the last survey in 1999, probably erred on the conservative side. "Every single one of our clients are reporting figures much higher than this and it was for that reason that we established a separate division of the company to address the problem." Griffiths said their experience had shown that as much as 70% of employees in some businesses acted dishonestly often leading to the demise of their companies.
While technology has been touted as the ultimate solution for putting a stop to commercial crime through new and improved computer systems, it has in fact become a two-edged sword, Griffiths said. "Despite all the safeguards in use today, computers have made it a lot easier for highly skilled computer experts to commit fraud on a gargantuan scale compared to their forebears who had to cook the books with pen and ink. "Through techniques such as rounding off small amounts to the nearest cent or five cents and diverting the proceeds to a bogus bank account, billions have been skimmed off the accounts on unsuspecting bank account holders."
He conceded that banks and other financial institutions had tightened up on accounting procedures but he said evidence uncovered by his investigators showed that fraud in general was still being committed on a massive scale. "The thieves are getting smarter and unless we can oppose them on an equal and level playing field, business is going to lose out," he concludes.
For more information: Howard Griffiths, Griffiths and Associates, 011 786 8556, or Tom Bouwer, Business Against Crime, 011 883 0717.
- Technical expertise the foundation at Elvey
March 2019, Elvey Security Technologies , Security Services & Risk Management
Distributors need to maintain a thorough understanding of both the business and technical landscape to remain relevant and assure installers that they have chosen not only the best product, but also the best business partner.
- Using security to enhance the customer experience?
March 2019, Axis Communications SA, Fidelity ADT Security, ISDS, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management, Retail (Industry)
Customer experience will overtake price and product as the key retail brand differentiator by the year 2020. Will the security industry be part of this transformation?
- Where guards and technology meet
March 2019, Fidelity Security Group, Xone Integrated Security, Security Services & Risk Management
Many of the smart technologies coming to market aim to eliminate or at least manage the human element, but in South Africa in particular, manned guards are still ubiquitous.
- Two-way radio is alive and well
March 2019, Global Communications (Member of Hudaco Group), Security Services & Risk Management
Digital technology has given two-way radios a new lease on life by offering significant advantages over analogue technology.
- Changing the security landscape
March 2019, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, News, Security Services & Risk Management
Using smart technology and an intelligent platform, Aura has a vision to reduce crime in South Africa by 50% by 2025.
- Keeping your guard up in retail
March 2019, Active Track, Retail (Industry), Security Services & Risk Management, Products
A security officer patrols the perimeter of a local shopping centre throughout the night, every night. During these patrols, the perimeter fence is checked, and the security officer keeps a look-out for ...
- A multifaceted approach to security
March 2019, Bidvest Protea Coin, Retail (Industry), Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
The modern shopping centre can only be secured via a multifaceted approach to the security solutions deployed.
- Countering the threats of retail terrorist vehicle attacks
March 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Security Services & Risk Management, Retail (Industry)
Bollard systems operate individually or in groups and are aesthetically pleasing and let pedestrians move between them in non-roadway applications.
- High-tech solutions for protecting cash
March 2019, Security Services & Risk Management
Cash-in-transit vehicles, ATM devices and overnight safes nowadays are fitted with security systems that are becoming increasingly advanced.
- The legalities of the digital signature
March 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
Electronic signatures and digital signatures differ significantly; it is critical that organisations recognise the legal implications of the electronic signature and the risk of fraud.
- Prepare for the worst
March 2019, Security Services & Risk Management
Arcserve Southern Africa reveals four strategic tips to avoid being the next data breach headline.
- Countrywide emergency response with a click
March 2019, Vox Telecom, News, Security Services & Risk Management
Vox is introducing Vox 911, a mobile app-based panic button that helps family members to easily request for roadside assistance or emergency services, as well as notify friends and family instantly.