Forensic investigation becoming more popular
Santhos Manilall Forensics, run by Advocate Santhos Manilall, says more and more fraud is being uncovered as companies, employees and even the public sector become more aware of commercial crime.
“Companies are working hard to become more compliant and to put better corporate governance in place. At the same time, employees are becoming more intolerant of dishonesty in the workplace and are using whistle blowing lines to anonymously report it,” Manilall says.
The company specialises in forensic investigations and disputes, conducting fraud and anti-corruption investigations, public sector investigations, risk consulting, analytical and forensic technology, business intelligence services, data interrogation and fraud prevention.
He points out that, at present, the most disturbing trend of all is the increased reporting of procurement fraud, which extends from collusion between officials and suppliers to cover quoting.
“At present, more complex syndicated crimes are being discovered. We are seeing more racketeering cases being reported and prosecuted. These are the types of cases where there is organised crime and where you require specialist forensic investigators to put everything together,” he explains.
He believes that those in the insurance and construction sectors are most vulnerable. Another concern is increased fraud within start-up companies that have not yet put sufficient controls in place.
He notes that many criminals within the corporate sector often walk free, due to bungled investigations – and, therefore, advises companies to bring in experts from the outset. “Managers can’t just go off on a tangent and seize computers. Once you start interfering and change things on that computer, the evidence becomes inadmissible,” he warns.
“Forensic services have become indispensable in ensuring that complex and high-value criminal cases are thoroughly investigated, and that the appropriate evidence is presented to the court, by an expert, in an understandable manner,” he concludes.