Thirty-seven percent of more than 5,000 respondents reported economic crime in their organizations, with the categories of bribery and corruption and cybercrime experiencing notable growth, according to PwC in its latest Global Economic Crime Survey.
Across Asia and the Middle East, rising incomes and accelerating investment in infrastructure have attracted multinationals eager to expand their global presence. But success in these high-growth emerging markets (HGEMs) often proves elusive.
A British senior executive working in China for the global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline helped orchestrate a long-running bribery and fraud scheme that involved making secret payments to doctors, hospital staff and government officials to bolster drug sales, Chinese authorities said.
Wal-Mart Stores reported that its investigation into violations of a federal anti-bribery law had extended beyond Mexico to China, India and Brazil, some of the retailer's most important international markets.
Is Wal-Mart's alleged bribery in Mexico an anomaly, or is it more typical of multinational behavior than many corporate executives would like to admit? Is the practice of bribing public officials ever justifiable from an economic or ethical point of view? And apart from collapsing share prices and shareholder lawsuits, what are some of the other possible consequences of bribing foreign officials?
Wal-Mart's annual meeting next month promises to be a contentious one because of questions over how the retail giant handled bribery allegations at a Mexico subsidiary. Shareholders are concerned about the board members' independence in light of the alleged cover-up of bribery that occurred in 2005 and 2006.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s probe of possible bribery in Mexico may prompt executive departures and steep U.S. government fines if it reveals senior managers knew about the payments and didn't take strong enough action, corporate governance experts said.