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Mon 23 May 2011 08:54 AM

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Third of Gulf execs see fraud in workplace, says poll

Some seven percent of managers say value of the scam ran into millions of dollars, poll shows

Third of Gulf execs see fraud in workplace, says poll
n Dubai, a series of high-profile fraud cases since 2008 have involved top executives at a number of state-linked firms

Over a third of Gulf executives have encountered at least
once incident of workplace fraud in the last year, with seven percent reporting
the scam was valued at more than $10m, a report said Sunday.

A survey of executives compiled by Deloitte found 35 percent
of senior managers polled said they’d seen at least one case of fraud in their
workplace over the last twelve months.

Some 14 of those questioned said the fraud was valued at
more than $1m while half that – seven percent - said the value of the scam ran
into $10m or more.

A third of respondents said the global credit crunch had
proved a catalyst for a rise in fraud cases, an assessment questioned by
Deloitte analysts.

“A key question perhaps is did the crisis actually lead to
an increase in the likelihood of fraud or just the uncovering of incidents that
previously went undetected in the boom years?” said Simon Charlton, managing director of forensic and dispute
services.

The poll found the most common form of fraud was the theft
of physical assets and the theft or misuse of information.

A number of prominent Gulf firms were embroiled in
corruption cases in the wake of the financial crisis. In Saudi Arabia, indebted
family conglomerate Algosaibi is embroiled in a legal row with the head of the
Saad Group over allegations of more than $10bn in fraud.

In Dubai, the Gulf’s trade and tourism hub, a series of high-profile
fraud cases since 2008 have involved top executives at a number of state-linked
firms including Nakheel and Dubai Properties.

In April, two former Dubai Islamic Bank executives and four
businessmen were sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined AED1.9bn ($496.5m) by
a Dubai court for embezzling from the bank, in one of the largest financial
fraud cases the UAE has seen.

The emirate adopted a new law in December 2009 under which
the state can impose prison terms of up to 20 years for financial crimes.

Despite efforts to crack down on corruption, the Deloitte
poll found only half of executives said their firm had a whistleblower hotline
in action. More than 70 percent, however, said their company had some kind of
framework in place to detect and prevent fraud.

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