Friday, November 20, 2009

Global Economic Crime Survey - Fraud Thriving In New Zealand

source PWC Global Economic Crime Survey

Despite the hype put out about New Zealand's perceived 'freedom from fraud and corruption' the reality seems to be very different, NZ has higher rates of economic crime than its closest neighbours and is way above the world average.

The Global Economic Crime Survey, carried out annually by one of the world's largest accountancy  professional services firms PriceWaterhouseCoopers, showed that a massive 42% of organisations in NZ had suffered from fraud in the last 12 months (against a global average of 30%) and 46% of it was committed by middle and senior management. The average fraud is costing around $500,000 in each business.

PWC is one a Big Four auditor, alongside KPMG, Ernst &Young and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu so their report will carry a lot of credence. This is the largest international survey of its kind with over 3,000 organisations taking part across 54 countries. 85 organisations from across the public and private sectors took part in the survey: From the PWC website:
  • Asset misappropriation (theft) was the most common form of fraud, cited by 86% of New Zealand respondents.
  • Financial statement fraud was cited by 36%
  • Intellectual property theft at 17%.  
  •  In 72% of all cases the fraud was committed by someone inside the organisation.
"(The) survey shows that economic crime continues to be a serious issue affecting New Zealand organisations with the current economic crisis increasing the pressures and incentives to commit fraud. New Zealand had the eighth highest reported level of fraud across the 54 countries that took part, with 42% of our respondents saying that they suffered from some form of economic crime in the last 12 months. The average cost of fraud in New Zealand was $491,506 with one organisation reporting that economic crime cost them in excess of $7 million in the last 12 months.

Since (the) last survey in 2007 we have noticed a significant trend in the perpetrators of fraud towards middle and senior management. When we align that trend to the fact that New Zealand organisations say that staff reductions have resulted in fewer resources deployed on internal controls and that internal audit were being asked to do more work with less staff, we believe that there is cause for concern. It is people in middle and senior management that are more able to override controls within an organisation."

"Perpetrators of fraud"
"Internal fraudsters were the main perpetrators in 72% of fraud reported by New Zealand respondents. This figure is significantly higher than Australia (33%), Asia Pacific (57%) and globally (53%). When we looked at the sector responses, the government and public sector in New Zealand had the highest rate of internal perpetrators with 89% of frauds within this sector committed internally."

In one recent case an ASB investment banker pleaded guilty to three fraud charges. He allegedly defrauded clients of $18 million over 9 years until the bank sacked him. The amount taken is greater than the $16.9 million fraud by a staff member of the Otago District Health Board which was previously New Zealand's largest proven employee theft.

So much for New Zealand topping the international index for the least corrupt country. We are shocked the both the government and public sectors are involved. We're now watching for a backlash against the report and expecting a damage limitation offensive to be launched any time now.

See also 

$1.8m contract let without tender after $500,000 gift:
"Hastings District Council has let a $1.8 million road-building contract without competitive tender after receiving a $500,000 "donation" from a company..."
(Ex) MP Taito Phillip Field found guilty of bribery and corruption

Former immigration boss Mary Anne Field "consistently breached" the requirements of public servants to manage conflicts of interest.

Former list MP Donna Awatere Huata convicted of fraud

A couple in Timaru lost $100,000 in an nvestment fund stolen by their financial adviser, who was a member of an industry watchdog.
'KPMG survey shows fraud costing NZ millions' - poor internal control remains the major factor allowing fraud to occur with 49% of respondents experiencing fraud.

Today's posts - click here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Elderly Person Attacked In Their Own Home

Another elderly person has been viciously assaulted in their own home. The Herald has published:
"Police are hunting for a young woman after an elderly Auckland man was attacked with a knife in a home invasion in the early hours of last Friday morning.The 69-year-old victim suffered cuts to his upper body and hand in his Orakei home. Police would like to speak to Ana Paraha, who is a relative of the victim. She is a 21-year-old Maori woman, 165cm tall and of thin build."
You can fairly judge the character of society by how it treats the weak, the vulnerable, the most easily forgotten. Abuse of the young and the old is widespread in NZ, recent attacks on elderly people include:
  • A 72 year old man left shaken and bruised after being robbed at gunpoint at his home in Beerescourt Rd Road, Hamilton
  • Lois Dear, 66, murdered and sexually assulted in her classroom at Tokoroa primary school
  • Retired teacher John Rowe, murdered by two teenage girls in his Opotiki home
  • An elderly couple who were hopsitalized after a home invasion in New Plymouth
  • An elderly man kicked to the ground and assaulted by a truck driver in Manukau
  • An 85 year old man badly beaten during a home invasion at his Bethesda Village retirement home in Wiri.
  • 86 year old Patricia Burrows was left with a fractured pelvis, cuts and bruises after she was mugged in a Christchurch shopping mall
  • Yin Ping Yang, 80, died following a savage attack during a home invasion in Manurewa East that lasted for several hours.

 Today's posts - click here

Monday, November 16, 2009

Are Girls Safe At School?

From the Bay of Plenty Times by Carly Undy:
"An alleged beating at a Bay school is a reflection of a rising trend in violence among young females, experts say.

A Western Bay parent is challenging Katikati College's zero-tolerance stance on bullying,
claiming her daughter was beaten up at school by other girls and the culprits only given lunchtime detentions. The  allegation comes as Bay social agencies say they are seeing  more violent offending among young women...

The incident at Katikati College on November 3 was said to have been filmed and  seen by "most" of the school, although college principal Peter Leggat said  incident  had not been as severe as claimed..."
Since when was "Zero Tolerance" dependent on perceived severity? we were unaware that there was a range for the value 'Zero'. What message is this sending out to kids?

Read the full article here.

For other blog posts about school violence and bullying please see other entries under the tag of School Violence. Also:
Another school attack, this time in Fielding
Stabbing brings calls for school security
Practical solutions needed to address violence in schools - Says PPTA president
School violence blamed on corporal punishment removal
Racial sensitivity may have caused classroom stabbing
Ryotaro Wright attacked at Forest View High School
Mairehau School goes into lock down as shots fired
NZ schools put children on path to crime
Gang fight at a Wellington school - Hutt Valley High School
Violence In New Zealand's Schools: Delay In Acting Upon The Behaviour Summit

Today's posts - click here

John Rowe Murder Trial Starts Today

 The trial starts today of two teenage girls accused of the murder of retired school teacher John Rowe.

Mr Rowe was brutally battered to death whilst he was asleep in his Opotiki home in November of last year. Two girls - Courteney Churchwood, aged 17 and a 15 year old with name suppression were later arrested and a man was also charged with being an accessory.

We have previously mentioned Mr Rowe in other blog posts in connection with other recent crimes in the small eastern Bay of Plenty town of Opotiki, he is the second school teacher to be be battered to death in recent years. Lois Dear was sexually assaulted and murdered in her classroom at Tokoroa's Strathmore Primary School in 2006.

 23 year old Whetu Te Hiko pleaded guilty to her murder. He had 13 prior convictions, eight of which were for assaulting women and children in 10 months, from April 2004 to February 2005.His brother Hamuera, is also in jail for sexually violating and beating his wife to death in 2001.

Six days ago 70 year old Grandmother Barbara Catherine Julian was beaten to death in her Kaitaia home in broad daylight by an intruder. A 17 year old youth is presently remanded in custody.

It has to make you wonder what is happening to the fabric of  New Zealand society when its most vulnerable citizens are beaten to death in their own homes and classrooms, places that most people should and would consider safe. What is sickening is that these crimes are being committed by young people, some of them multiple repeat offenders, it has to make one question if the methods used to address youth offending are working in New Zealand and if tougher measures are needed.

Other pensioners beaten to death or raped in their homes include:

Today's posts - click here

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Enuf is Enuf. Poison Free New Zealand

 The group Poison Free New Zealand is organising protest rallies all around the country today to demand an end to 1080 Poison Drops. Further details may be found on Facebook: Poison Free New Zealand Day

More about 1080 and Brodifacoum

Today's posts - click here

Grandmother Barbara Catherine Julian Beaten To Death In Kaitaia, Northland - Updated

A 70 year old woman has been found dead in her own home. Neighbours discovered the woman at 91 Matthews Avenue, Kaitaia, Northland at around 5.30pm on 10 November.  Police have said that a man had been seen walking away from the house earlier in the day and a resident of the street had made a call after seeing a suspicious person at the property. It is not known if the call was followed up on.

The woman was later named as Barbara Catherine Julian. Later news reports stated that the 70 year old grandmother had told her niece she was thinking about leaving town because people in the street were frightening her, she said:
"Her aunt had been a gifted and enthusiastic teacher, a lively, intelligent, caring woman with a wide circle of friends - although her peace of mind had been dented in the weeks before her death.
Alone since her husband, Ted,  died five years ago, she had stayed at 91 Matthews Ave with its immaculate garden, but  had become increasingly uneasy.
"She was becoming a little frightened by the people she heard going up and down the street and she was contemplating moving to Whangarei," Ms Lunjevich said.
That would not have been a decision taken lightly."

View Larger Map

A 17 year old youth, Jameel Job,  was initially arrested on an "unrelated matter" but was subsequently charged with her murder.

See also: "It could have happened at any house"

Last Friday another elderly woman was brutally attacked at around 4pm 69 year old Keitha Brown was attacked on Cameron Road, Tauranga and robbed of $12. After spending a night in hospital with injuries that included a broken humerus bone, a swollen cheek, a black eye and a cut to her face she left and is now recovering at home with her family.

View Larger Map, St Catherine's Church, near to where the attack took place
The shocking homicide and attacks on defenseless elderly women come at a time when a survey has shown that 80% of New Zealanders are seriously worried about crime in the country but the majority of them think it doesn't happen where they live.

See also other posts tagged Crime    Murders and  Northland

Today's posts - click here


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