This month, May 2020, marks a major milestone for Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI Group). CRI Group is a worldwide provider of background screening, investigative due diligence, third-party risk management, compliance and other professional investigative research services. From the very beginning, CRI Group has been dedicated to safeguarding organisations, helping businesses fight bribery and corruption, while promoting transparent business relations. “Investigative results are for the people, to get informed decisions” embodies CRI Group’s values and aspirations.
Based in London, United Kingdom, CRI Group is a global company with experts and resources located in key regional marketplaces across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North and South America. CRI Group also established the ABAC® Center of Excellence to educate, equip and support the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk assessments, performance assessments, systems improvement and standards certification.
CRI Group and ABAC® always stand ready to assist clients on every level, and together achieved many significant accomplishments within just the past year alone. From engaging new partnerships and adding new certifications, to launching an e-training portal and even opening another office, CRI Group and its ABAC® have been busy expanding their reach to help more organisations prevent fraud, bribery, corruption and other business risks; while increasing certification and training offerings at a time when they are critically needed.
CRI Group Honoured to be Named Certified Provider by HRO Today Association
A major announcement was made just last month when the HRO Today Association approved CRI Group as a Certified Provider of background screening to the human resources services industry. CRI Group completed a rigorous audit process for its pre- and post-employment screening services, and “demonstrated a high level of accountability of standards and ethics,” according to an HRO Today Association statement.
HRO Today Association certified members demonstrate that they have undergone evaluation and testing to verify themselves as credible and trusted providers. This form of certification ensures customers have access to qualified service providers in the HR services and technology industry.
CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence: Serving Clients with Innovation
Founded by CRI Group in 2016, ABAC® is celebrating an anniversary of its own: Three years of educating, equipping and supporting the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk assessments, performance assessments, systems improvement and standards certification. ABAC CoE launched a new website this year, along with several new initiatives described below.
State-of-the-Art E-Training Portal Launched
ABAC®, powered by CRI Group, unveiled a new e-training portal to bring its acclaimed certification and training straight to the businesses and organisations that need it. Through the portal, ABAC® CoE offers three levels of training for ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption Management Systems standard. These include ISO 37001 Awareness (Introductory), ISO 37001 Internal Auditor, and ISO 37001 Lead Auditor online training courses. Taught by ABAC® trusted experts with years of hands-on and business experience, these online courses provide a proactive way for employees to learn to recognise any form of corruption, and report it. Course instructors bring the subject matter to life with relevant and contemporary examples.
New Webinar, Expertise at Anti-Corruption Forums Help Spread Knowledge About Bribery and Corruption Risks
With more businesses turning to online learning opportunities, ABAC® Center of Excellence hosted two free webinars: “ISO 37001 ABMS Overview” informs on the standard that was released in 2016 with a variety of anti-bribery best practices that all organisations should adopt. The webinar is still available for viewing and describes how ISO 37001 ABMS works, what measures it entails and what value it brings to businesses – along with how to get certified. “How Effective is Your Anti-Bribery Management System?” examines the fact that even among companies that identify and prioritise bribery and corruption risks, we often find gaps. These issues limit compliance officers from fully maximising the benefits and business value of their anti-bribery management programmes. This webinar is also available for viewing, and informs on how to mitigate risks and rectify these unintentional gaps in your policies and procedures.
In September, CRI Group’s ABAC® proudly participated in important anti-corruption events in Malaysia. The first was a briefing session and discussed ‘The Importance of ISO 37001 ABMS’ at the Malaysia German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ABAC® also proudly supported at Malaysia Anti-Corruption Forum, themed “Understanding and Addressing the World’s Biggest Problem,” organised by International Strategy Institute (ISI).
In December, “Manage your business risks with confidence” was the theme for CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence anti-bribery anti-corruption training event held on International Anti-Corruption Day (Monday, 9 December) in Dubai. Hosted at Dubai Quality Group’s offices at Emarat Atrium Building, “Introductory Seminar on ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System” provided critical insight on how to protect businesses from bribery and corruption risks.
Expanding the Global Reach: CRI Group’s ABAC® Opens New Office in Abu Dhabi Global Market
In January, ABAC® proudly announced the opening of its offices in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). “ABAC Certification’s worldwide network of multi-disciplined subject specialist auditors and analysts help organisations prevent and deter bribery and corruption, third-party malfeasance, threats and corruption risks while ensuring our clients conform to the local and international regulatory framework, specifically UK Bribery Act 2010 and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA),” said Zafar Anjum, ABAC CoE CEO. “The establishment of our offices in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) gives us the platform to expand our Accredited Certification capabilities further and enhance the level of support we offer to the international business community.”
Dynamic New Partnerships and Certifications for clients
ABAC® Center of Excellence also announced that Apex Shipping Services LLC, based in Dubai (UAE), successfully demonstrated compliance with ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) requirements and attained ABAC Certification. Kanwal Zafar, Managing Director at ABAC CoE, said “It is our honour to recognise Apex and certify them for implementing ISO 37001 anti-bribery management standards. From the beginning of the certification process, Apex has demonstrated a commitment to achieving the highest level of compliance, preventing and detecting bribery.”
Award-winning information technology services company ISS Middle East FZC (IntelliSoft) also attained ABAC Certification in ISO 37001:2016 ABMS for services such as SAP Professional, Technology, Infra services & solutions (Data Management, Application development, Legacy Modernisation Cloud service, Analytics & Mobility), Staffing, Recruitment and Outsourcing services in IT. “We are honoured to work with ISS Middle East FZC towards their commitment to prevent, detect, report and eliminate bribery and corruption,” said Kanwal Zafar. “This zero-tolerance approach helps organisations to emerge as a global ethical and trusted partner, as this standard is recognised and practised worldwide.”
New Ethics and Compliance Hotline to Foster Prevention and Detection
In keeping with one of the most effective methods for detecting fraud and corruption, CRI Group implemented an anonymous reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective, or are impractical under the circumstances. The new Ethics & Compliance Hotline is available to all employees, as well as clients, contractors, vendors and others in a business relationship with CRI Group and ABAC Group. The Ethics & Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider that provides protection through a Non-Retaliation Policy.
CRI Group: A Brief History
The story of CRI Group began when it was originally founded as the “Metropolitan Detective Agency” by Mr. Muhammad Anwar Naveed, the father of CRI Group CEO Mr. Zafar I. Anjum. It was a one-man private investigation firm that dealt with insurance claim investigations. In 1990, Anjum (a former member of the Pakistan Rangers who had earned a Graduate Diploma from Pakistan Detective Training Institute PDTI) formally launched the business as a full flagged district level detection agency with a full range of services including insurance claim fraud investigations, background checks and due diligence.
It was while Anjum was working on an insurance fraud case that he came to a realisation about the nature of fraud. Whereas most types of crime are dealt with by the justice system, fraud is handled differently. It can be so complex and specialised that it often requires investigation by an external agency or organisation with expertise in fraud detection.
In 2001, Anjum increased the scope and mission of his firm, along with a new name: Corporate Research and Investigations (Private) Limited, offering full-scale investigative research services. Expansion would come quickly with incorporation in 2006 in the UK, and 2008 in UAE.
In 2016, Anjum and CRI Group embraced a bold new initiative with the founding of the Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption ABAC® Center of Excellence, with world-class programs to train and certify organisations in compliance processes, including the comprehensive ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification.
Today, CRI Group is a recognised global leader in employee background screening services, investigative due diligence, third-party risk management services and Anti-bribery Management Systems. CRI Group safeguards some of the world’s leading businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking for affiliation.
“Our business is preserving and improving Corporate Fraud Control, facilitating to get informed decisions and lessens the crime picture from society and working businesses,” Anjum said.
“Above all, we value our ability to serve the business community who can benefit from the appropriate use of our investigative results and services,” Anjum added. “We are dedicated to providing the highest level of professional excellence and result oriented delivery systems. We strive to identify the most critical needs of professionals and consumers, and we devote our resources to meeting those needs.”
Looking Ahead to More Success
CRI Group is honoured to have proudly served businesses, government agencies and other organisations for the past 30 years. The company’s mission is to safeguard the corporate world by detecting and exposing bribery and corruption before it can cause irreparable harm to a business. ABAC® Center of Excellence also fills a critical role in educating, training and certifying organisations to prevent bribery and corruption.
The industry-leading services CRI Group and ABAC® CoE provide are in high demand, and we look forward to the next 30 years and beyond in preventing and detecting fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour for clients worldwide. Visit CRIgroup.com and ABAC® Center of Excellence today.