Norway next to Nigeria in fraud report

Norwegian businesses have reported one of the highest levels of corruption in the world, with one in four managers saying they had experienced a significant case of fraud in the last two years.

Norway next to Nigeria in fraud report
Yara, the Norwegian fertiliser company, in January received the highest fine in Norway's history for giving bribes in Libya, Russia and India. Photo: Yara
Only firms in countries notorious for corruption such as Nigeria, Egypt, Namibia and Kenya reported more fraud in the survey of 2,700 managers in 59 countries from accounting firm Ernst &Young (EY).
Their 2014 Global Fraud Survey showed that in Norway only six percent of firms thought fraud was widespread, yet 26 percent reported serious cases of fraud within the last two years.
That was the highest level in Europe alongside Germany, more than Russia (16 percent) and almost as much as Nigeria (30 percent). The average for western Europe was 12 percent.
Elisabeth Roscher, who heads Ernst & Young's fraud investigation operations in Norway, said that the results were "surprising". 

"I don't think that there is more economic crime in Norway compared to other countries, but there has been quite extensive media focus and public focus on instances of fraud and there have been some significant corruption cases, which might be the reason why we have had this result on the survey."
Norway has had a string of recent corporate bribery scandals: In January, Norwegian fertiliser company Yara was hit by a $48 million fine, the largest corporate fine in the country's history, for paying bribes in Libya, India and Russia; In 2011, three former employees of the firm Norconsult were convicted of bribing officials in Tanzania; and in 2004, Statoil, the majority state-controlled oil company, was  fined $2.8m for paying  bribes to secure contracts in Iran. 
Roscher said that in many ways Norway was in fact ahead of many other countries in combatting crime. 
"The focus on fraud has led to better control systems. There's a requirement under Norwegian law to have a whistleblower system in place, and this may lead to more cases." 
EY said in a statement: “Our survey shows that the risks businesses are facing are not receding. The incidence of fraud and reported levels of corruption are not declining.”
The polling company Ipsos interviewed 50 managers in Norway for the survey. 

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Deutsche Bank to pay $130m to settle US bribery probes

Deutsche Bank will pay $130 million to settle a foreign bribery probe and fraud charges in precious metals trading, US officials announced on Friday.

Deutsche Bank to pay $130m to settle US bribery probes
A woman walks past the offices of Deutsche Bank in London. Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP
The bribery case relates to illegal payments and to false reporting of those sums on the bank's books and records between 2009 and 2016, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
The bank “knowingly and wilfully” kept false records after employees conspired with a Saudi consultant to facilitate bribe payments of over $1 million to a decision maker, the DOJ said.
In another case, the bank paid more than $3 million “without invoices” to an Abu Dhabi consultant “who lacked qualifications… other than his family relationship with the client decision maker,” the DOJ said.
In addition to criminal fines and payments of ill-gotten gains, Deutsche Bank agreed to cooperate with government investigators under a three-year deferred prosecution agreement.
In the commodities fraud case, Deutsche Bank metals traders in New York, Singapore and London between 2008 and 2013 placed fake trade orders to profit by deceiving other market participants, the DOJ said.
The agreement took into account Deutsche Bank's cooperation with the probes, DOJ said.
“Deutsche Bank engaged in a criminal scheme to conceal payments to so-called consultants worldwide who served as conduits for bribes to foreign officials and others so that they could unfairly obtain and retain lucrative business projects,” said Acting US Attorney Seth D. DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York.
“This office will continue to hold responsible financial institutions that operate in the United States and engage in practices to facilitate criminal activity in order to increase their bottom line.”
“We take responsibility for these past actions, which took place between 2008 and 2017,” said Deutsche Bank spokesperson Dan Hunter, adding that the company has taken “significant remedial actions” including hiring staff and upgrading technology to address the shortcomings.