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.

According to company officials, Japanese motor company Nissan losses about $60 Million each year to counterfeit auto parts in the United Arab Emirates. These fake car parts include brake pads, radiators, windscreens and other vehicle parts.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Baharain, Kuwait, Omanm, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the counterfeit auto parts market is estimated to be worth $2 Billion.

(See all information on fake auto parts.)

Source:  Tom Arnold, “Smuggling in the UAE: Counterfeit goods seeping into ports daily,” The National, May 17, 2014.

According to a report by CNN, the cost to buy the malware called Blackshades on the cyber black market can be as little as $40.

The software is sued to remotely take over computers and can be used to access the computer’s hard drive, log key strokes in order to capture passwords, and can even turn on the webcam without the computer user’s knowledge.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation stated that cyber criminals have used Blackshades to extort computer users and commit bank fraud. In 2013, a user of Blackshades was convicted in California for using the program to turn on the webcam and spy on Miss Teen USA.

(More prices of online hacking tools and computer fraud.)

Source:  Even Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, “More than 100 people nabbed in global hacker crackdown,” CNN, May 19, 2014.

Security officials and tax analysts state that about $9.5 Billion in tax revenue was lost to the Government of Turkey due to cigarette smuggling on the black market.

In January 2010, the Turkish government raised the tobacco excise tax by 30 percent, thus creating a demand for tobacco on the black market.

Back in 2007, an estimated 3.9 billion cigarettes were bought on the black market. In 2013, an estimated 16.2 billion cigarettes were bought without taxes being paid.

Customs officers seized nearly $2 Billion worth of contraband tobacco in 2013.

Over a quarter of the population in Turkey is estimated to be smokers.

Source:  Tom Arnold, “Smoke and mirrors in Turkey with illicit cigarette trade,” National, May 10, 2014.

A man in the United States plead guilty in federal court for fraud after being arrested for selling fake diplomas.

Between 2003 and 2012, the man sold up to $5 Million worth of fake degrees and diplomas for fake schools that he created. None of the colleges that he made diplomas for had any faculty or courses, and none were officially recognized by the US Department of Education.

The man also created a fake accrediting body that was meant to accredit the fake universities.

The making of the fake degrees took place in Connecticut, but the 7 different websites that provided fake diplomas targeted customers around the world. The package for an Associate Degree was $475, a Bachelor’s Degree was $495, Masters Degree was $525, and a Doctoral Degree was offered for $550. If the customer bought several degrees, then a discount would kick in.

(More statistics on diploma mills.)

Source:  Aaron Katersky, “Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Churning Out Fake College Diplomas,” ABC News, May 8, 2014.

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, agents with the Secret Service in the United States seized $88.7 Million in counterfeit dollars within the U.S. Nearly 60 percent of the fake dollar bills seized were made by using inkjet or laser printers.

Overseas, Secret Service agents seized $68.2 Million in counterfeit dollars during the fiscal year. Most of the fakes seized outside of the United States were made by offset presses. and in more professional “counterfeiting mills”.

Security agents in the Untied States arrested 3,617 people for counterfeiting in the fiscal year.

(More on counterfeit money.)

Source:  Del Quentin Wilber, “Woman With Printer Shows the Digital Ease of Bogus Cash,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2014.


A gaming analyst in Macau told the South China Morning Post that an estimated $90 Billion in gaming revenue in Macau was unreported in 2013. Officially, the gaming industry and casinos in Macau reported $45 Billion in revenue in 2013.

(Additional illegal gambling statistics.)

One of the main methods of avoiding currency controls is through the use of payment cards issued by UnionPay. These mobile cards are registered as domestic transactions and thus are not limited to caps on how much a person can gamble in Macau. The gamblers who use these cards are able to either wash more money or use the casinos to avoid paying taxes in China.

Previously, when gamblers in Macau would run out of funds, they would visit pawn shops in order to sell items to cover their gambling debts. Due to the use of mobile payment cards, the Macau General Chamber of Pawnbrokers stated that business revenue is down 40 percent as less gamblers need to sell items.

(See more money laundering examples and cases.)

Source:  Toh Han Shih and Niall Fraser, “Mainland crackdown on illegal use of payment cards in Macau casinos,” South China Morning Post, May 8, 2014.

Between 2011 to 2013, the criminal justice court system in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia received 53 money laundering cases that targeted 22 Saudi nationals and 31 foreign workers.

The cases involved anonymous bank transfers, illegal collection of money, fraud, profiting from public office, and other methods of money laundering.

According to financial security experts in the country, Jeddah had the most money laundering cases in Saudi Arabia.

Source: “Jeddah has highest number of money laundering cases,” Arab News, May 8, 2014.

In a survey of over 6,000 people in Finland between the ages of 7 to 84, researchers found that on average each person who downloaded pirated content online had about 2,900 pirated music files and 90 pirated movie files.

The researchers who conducted the study beleives that downloaders have more music files is due to the ease of downloading pirated music. According to the study, downloading movie files require faster internet speeds, more digital storage space, as well as a higher technological ability to playback movies.

(See more movie piracy statistics.)

Amoung the reasons that people gave for committing online piracy were that it was cheaper, and that they could access content that was either not available in their region of before it was released to the general public.

(See more music piracy statistics.)

Source:  Samuel Gibbs, “Piracy study shows illegal downloaders more likely to pay for films than music,” Guardian, May 6, 2014.


According to criminal justice reports in Vietnam, there were 278 corruption trials held within the court system of Vietnam in 2013.

In addition to the court cases, government investigators discovered at least 80 new cases of fraud invovling the misuse of state funds.

In a recent case of corruption in the country, state security agents arrested four officisl from Vietnam Railways who were alledgely invovled ina  $758,000 (16 Billion Vietnamese Dong) bribery case.

(More government corruption information here.)

Source:  “Vietnam Falling Short in Tackling Corruption, Says Party Chief,” Bloomberg Businessweek, May 6, 2014.

A baggage screener working for the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles Airport was sentenced to six years in federal prison for taking bribes to let cocaine pass through the station.

According to court documents, the woman was paid at least $2,400 for each incident where she let a suitcase filled with cocaine to pass through the X-ray machine.

(Police corruption examples here.)

Source:  “Baggage screener at LAX gets nearly 6 years in prison for letting cocaine through,” Los Angeles Daily News, May 5, 2014.