SA reports lower number of economic crimes

South Africa is now number three on the global list for economic crime offenders after India and China. This is according to a global PwC report which shows that incidents of economic crime in South Africa declined from 77 percent in 2018 to 60 percent in 2019. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has reported a lower number of incidents of economic crime in the past year.

The country is now rated third in a list of 99 countries surveyed by in the Price Waterhouse Cooper annual report into global economic crime and fraud.

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South African economic crime reduced from 77 percent to 60 percent from 2018 to 2019 but the percentage is not the whole story.

Forensic Partner at PwC Trevor White said petty crimes are not being reported as economic crimes by respondents to the survey, influencing the numbers.

Cybercrime and financial statement misappropriation have increased significantly according to White, as well as more reports of people in senior management positions committing these crimes.

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Previously, 20 percent of economic crimes were reported as committed by people in management positions, while in 2019, 34 percent of these infractions were committed by senior management.

The value of the crimes has also increased.

White said while the numbers may seem discouraging, progress in exposing and taking corrective action is being made.

A concern for corporates is; financial misconduct is still underreported with only 28 percent of crimes disclosed to auditors.