News & what's on - Written by on Thursday, August 9, 2012 6:54 - 1 Comment

Book review: How to pay a bribe – thinking like a criminal to thwart bribery schemes

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***drum roll*** It’s holiday reading time…

“…how the bribes are actually paid has received too little attention.  Those seeking to deter and detect bribes need to understand how value is created,disguised and transferred.  In order to train effectively anti-bribery lawyers should work with plausible scenarios that resonate with the audience.”

So begins this collection of examples of various bribery schemes edited by Alexandra Wrage of TRACE and 8 contributing authors including Howard Sklar.

Innocents abroad

Those working in high risk jobs in high risk jurisdictions deserve to be trained on the likely methods the unscrupulous may try to corrupt them.

Training without using scenarios and explaining bribery schemes is an open goal (putting it mildly – though this does not deter some…)

Without proper training some are truly ‘innocents abroad’.  Over their heads before they know it.

Once in, a catalogue of poor decision making often compounds the problem and in a short moment the ‘innocents abroad’ are suddenly seasoned criminals in the eyes of the enforcement agencies who will sympathise right up until the moment the ‘innocent’ finally agrees to plead guilty for more lenient treatment.

This book will help keep the innocents innocent.

For the rest

This book will help the compliance professional.  On top of identifying payment requests which are bribery traps for the unwary (the charitable donation scam and others) the book also highlights methods used by those hell bent on paying bribes to disguise the payments from colleagues and supervisors.

Are you in China? Are you familiar with the use of travel agency services for bribery in China?  If you are a compliance professional with responsibility for China and think this is a reference to small payments to obtain visas – you’d better buy the book pronto.  Likewise, if you haven’t heard of ‘yahui’ (elegant bribery to the un-initiated).

Howard Sklar throws his sombrero (he’s still wearing it in spite of promising to eat it over a bet with us a while back) into the ring with description of a real estate zoning scam involving Mexi Mals.

All in this book is recommended reading for the compliance professional.  As the book says “in house counsel and compliance officers and other anti bribery practitioners can learn from one another”. Currently for sale on Amazon at £7.47 it is a small price to pay.

TRACE ask for others to share their own stories by emailing with the intention of incorporating them in future editions.  This is a good idea, though before you do you may want to anonymise the ‘stories’ to protect the innocent…

More book reviews to follow from our poolside location as we catch up on our holiday reading…Next up: Lessons Learned on Compliance and Ethics by Tom Fox. Just need to replace the kindle which died poolside this morning…

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