Russia Ranked Highest in Economic Crime

PricewaterhouseCoopers©A global survey published on November 19 has placed Russia in first place for the prevalence of economic crime.

According to the survey, conducted by the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, 71 percent of Russian companies have suffered from at least one instance of economic crime in the past year, and a 48 percent increase in the number of cases.

The financial services sector suffered the most from the prevalence of fraud, with 26 percent of respondents admitting to having committed economic crimes. Following that was the fuel and energy sector (15 percent), manufacturing (9 percent), pharmaceuticals and automobile manufacturing (8 percent), and insurance and retail (7 percent). Last were the technology and construction sectors, with 5 percent each. The survey also found a 66 percent decline in financial performance.

The most widespread form of economic crime found by the survey was asset misappropriation, which includes all forms of theft and embezzlement of cash, supplies, or equipment within a company.

The second most common form of crime was bribery.

Following Russia on the list for highest prevalence of economic crime were South Africa (62%) and Kenya (57%). Those with the lowest levels of economic crime included Japan (10%), Hong Kong (13%), and Turkey (15%).

According to the first survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2003, not a single Russian company at that time admitted to having suffered from even one instance of economic crime.

Russia has long suffered from widespread corruption. A 2009 survey by Transparency International ranked Russia as 146 on the global Corruption Perceptions Index, saying that almost one third (29 percent) of Russians have given a bribe at least once in the past year. Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika announced in early November that 22 criminal cases were being brought against state-owned corporations, most involving the misappropriation of assets.