Business Risk

Risk assessments and threat intelligence on business risks that can impact corporations or businesses. Information about money laundering, corruption and other threats to business operations.

The Ministry of the Interior in Saudi Arabia received a total of 3,919 suspicious financial transaction reports about possible money laundering cases between 2012 and 2013. Financial authorities also received 419 notifications about possible terrorism financing activities.

The number of institutions reporting suspicious transactions increased by 120 percent from the amount of reports between 2008 and 2012.

Out of the total suspicious reports, 223 notifications about money laundering and 88 regarding terrorism financing were further investigated by security services.

Source:  “Money laundering cases shoot up by 120%, says report,” Arab News, January 27, 2014.

According to the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft, the music industry in South Africa loses up to $45 Million (500 Million South African Rand) each year to pirated music.

The main causes of users downloading music in South Africa is the cheap or free price of the music files and the availability of the music content. Many South Africans also reported that they did not know file sharing was illegal.

The industry lobbying group also stated that organized crime groups are involved in music piracy activities in South Africa.

Source:  “On-going piracy battle in the SA music industry,” SABC, January 25, 2014.

According to various media reports, women who are pregnant in the United Kingdom are buying abortion pills at online websites that sell the pill on the black market.

The women are paying $128 (£78) for an abortion pill that they buy from websites. The abortion pills are sold by East Asian organized crime gangs selling the pills online.

In 2013, authorities shut down over 1,200 websites that were illegally selling medicines and pills to customers in the United Kingdom.

Health agencies have stated that buying abortion pills online can have a negative impact on a woman’s health, and may even cause death if the dosage are wrong. Women in the UK can visit abortion clinics and other public health programs for confidential appointments.

The sale of abortion pill is not just concentrated in the UK. Women in the United States also buy pills to induce abortions from black market sources as well. Women in Texas have been reported buying an abortion pill for $40 on the Mexican border.

(Additional statistics about prescription drug abuse.)

Source:  Lizzie Dearden, “Pregnant teenage girls taking deadly black market abortion pills, investigation finds,” Independent, January 25, 2014.

According to data from computer security firm Symantec, the actual amount of money lost in the United Arab Emirates to cyber crimes and hacking was $209 Million (770 Million UAE Dirham). If the total costs of expenses, time lost and lost of productivity were included, then the total loss to cyber crime in the UAE would be $626 Million (2.3 Billion UAE Dirham).

Criminal justice administrators in Dubai state that crimes involving mobile devices has increased in recent years. Top threats involving mobile phones include blackmail, where a user’s personal photos are held for ransom, and using Simboxes to dial international numbers and avoid long distance rates.

Source:  Caline Malek, “Technology causes an increase in Dubai mobile phone crime rates,” The National, January 21, 2014.

Money laundering in Hungary is estimated to be worth $15 Billion a year.

In the first half of 2013, a total of 6,160 suspicious transactions were reported to federal regulators. The number of reports was 80 percent higher than the previous year.

Out of that total, 66 financial transactions were halted by banking regulators.

(More money laundering examples.)

Source:  David Landry, “Reports of money laundering up 80% through June ‘13,” Budapest Business Journal, January 21, 2014.

According to statistics released by state media, security services in China arrested nearly 60,000 people for violating intellectual property in 2013. The total estimated value of the counterfeits and fakes seized by China was $28 Billion (173 Billion Yuan).

Over 90 million tons of counterfeit goods were seized by security services across China in 2013. Included in the seizures were 300 million counterfeit drug pills worth $360 Million.

1,260 organized crime gangs who were involved in counterfeiting were also broken up during the year.

Source:  Associated Press, “China Seized 60,000 Piracy Suspects Last Year,” ABC News, January 21, 2014.

There were 631,391 incidents of retail theft in Britain between 2012 to 2013, according to the British Retail Consortium. Out of those incidents, 9 percent of theft incidents were reported to the police by retail shops.

Organized crime groups involved in the theft were targeting higher end items, such as electrical goods, designer clothes and handbags, and power tools to be sold on the black market. These types of expensive items caused the average loss of a shoplifting incident to rise to $290 (£177), a rise of two thirds from the previous year.

The total loss from shoplifting in Britain was $839 Million (£511 Million), an increase of 166 percent from 2007-2008.

(All threats and crimes in the United Kingdom.)

Source:  Rebecca Younger, “Shoplifting at nine-year high – yet retailers fail to report 90% of thefts to police,” Mirror, January 20, 2014.

In an interview with the BBC, a cyber criminal based in the Ivory Coast stated that he can make up to $6767 to $16,237 (€5,000 to €12,000) on a good month targeting victims with online dating scams.

(Illegal jobs and the money they earn.)

The most profitable scams for the “brouters” (as cyber criminals are called in the Ivory Coast) is the “love method”, where online dating customers are are targeted because they are looking for love. The scammer would begin chatting with the victim and start exchanging pictures and messages. Eventually, they would lay out the “tax”, or the amount of money needed in order to visit the victim in person. For example, they would tell the victim that they would love to visit them in France, but they first need to pay $6,800 in debts in order to leave, and the victim would send them the money.

According to security intelligence services,online criminals in Ivory Coast is between the ages of 16 and 17. On average, each one of these teenagers are able to make around $13,000 a month from online fraud. At internet cafes, they pay less than $1 for 4 hours of online access.

(More prices and fees of online fraud and hackers.)

Source:  Tamasin Ford, “Ivory Coast cracks down on cyber crime,” BBC News, January 16, 2014.

In 2013, over 350 million ads were taken down and removed by Google for promoting websites that sells counterfeit goods or were offering suspect downloads or other malicious activities. The number of ads taken down by Google in 2013 was an increase from the 220 million ads taken down in 2012.

Back in 2012, the number of advertisers dropped by Google was over 850,000. In 2013, less malicious advertisers attempted to get their ads into the Adwords network as a little over 270,000 advertisers were dropped.

14,000 advertisers were banned for attempting to sell counterfeit goods in 2013, a decline of over 80 percent of 2012.

In addition, over 200,000 websites and over 250,000 publisher accounts were kicked off the ad network for artificially inflating their ad revenue through click fraud or placing ads on sites that violated Google’s term of use.

Source:  Alistar Barr, “Google steps up fight against ‘bad’ ad barrage,” USA Today,

A survey conducted by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce found that companies that pay kickbacks and bribes to state officials pay in the range of 25 to 35 percent of the project value. The survey was based upon 2,400 respondents.

In 2013, the value of corruption in Thailand was estimated to cost $8.6 Billion (240 to 330 Billion Thai Baht), or roughly 10 percent of the 2.4 Trillion Thai Baht that was spent on the country’s overall investment and procurement budget.

Based on the 35 percent kickback rate, Thailand’s GDP rate would be cut by 2.63 percent due to corruption.

(Additional types of corruption in the world.)

Source:  “Corruption ‘still plagues Thailand’ ,” Bangkok Post, January 17, 2014.