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Cambodian firms face bigger risk of economic crimes

Cambodian firms face bigger risk of economic crimes

Businesses in the Kingdom experience economic crimes at almost twice the global average rate, according to a small-scale survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Cambodia branch.

PwC conducted the assessment during a seminar last week for the launch of the global Economic Crime Survey, which did not include Cambodia.

Of the 27 Cambodian businesses who responded at the seminar, 85 per cent reported experiencing some form of economic crime in the past two years, much higher than the 37 per cent reported globally.

Respondents included companies in the logistics, professional services and financial sectors.

Although the sample was small, the results showed that certain forms of economic crime were of particular concern to companies here.

For example, of the companies who said they were victims of economic crimes, the survey found 43 per cent of firms had experienced bribery and corruption in Cambodia over the last two years, the study’s global average was 27 per cent.

The Kingdom’s years of economic growth could also have a darker side, said PWC partner Marius Kunneke, as such rapid expansion increases the opportunities for fraud.

“It’s part of a global trend,” he said.

Procurement fraud, asset misappropriation, and cybercrime were the kinds of fraud most expected by the Cambodian companies surveyed.

Andrew Tan, PWC’s associate director for Cambodia and Laos, noted that opportunities for cybercrime have increased as companies adopt new technology.

Charles Van, president of the Association of Banks in Cambodia, said that for Cambodia’s banking sector at least, new technology had helped the country leapfrog older security systems to strengthen cybercrime protections.

“I think Cambodia is one of the lucky parties as we use the latest technology to give us more protection,” he said.

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