Stock theft and other dishonest practices by employees are among the many contributors towards the demise of a revered South African electrical components supplier earlier this year.
A sizeable portion of the company’s warehouse staff was reportedly stealing and selling valuable stock to support their drug addiction.
Worryingly, it is claimed that up to 10% of the company’s employees were addicted to some type of illegal hard narcotic, while several members aided and were even members of criminal syndicates.
They were responsible for stealing well over R2-million worth of stock from the company’s warehouses since the previous audit in late 2018.
Some of electrical componentry was sold via competitor companies that were being operated by employees on the side line and, in an ultimate act of betrayal, to some of their employer’s existing customers.
Worryingly, no action was taken at boardroom level to implement more thorough security systems, despite suspicions of company property being stolen as early as the previous stocktaking period.
In 2016, 45% of all acts of fraud committed against South African companies were by employees and, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce, 75% of workers will steal from their employers.
There are a number of other drivers behind this dishonest behaviour by staff other than drug addiction and syndicate activity.
Many employees will steal company property to help fund their lifestyles and increasing cost of living. This remains a very serious threat to businesses considering the continued lacklustre performance of the South African economy since the global recession that started in late 2008.
While some employees may not understand the larger implications of their actions, others may simply believe that they are entitled to company property. This culture of “entitlement” is one of the other major drivers behind fraud committed by employees in the country.
Opportunists, on the other hand, will steal small stock items, such as clothing, food and electronics, when the chance arises and this behaviour, therefore, remains a serious potential threat to retailers.
Havensec Solutions provides a comprehensive security solution to help its clients better manage this internal threat.
It includes state-of-the-art polygraphing and other lie-detection techniques to uncover the truth. These have been deployed to identify guilty parties and to clear the innocent during an investigation.
Moreover, they have significantly strengthened companies’ pre-employment screening processes. These rigorous screening procedures – a must for any warehousing operation – have helped ensure the integrity and uphold consistently high quality standards throughout the hiring process. Notably, they also provide honest candidates a fair opportunity to compete for available positions, over-and-above the important role that they play in mitigating company exposure to internal risk as early as possible.
Meanwhile, our discreet surveillance and information gathering methods have helped companies prove or disprove allegations being made against employees. This capability, combined with our bugging and de-bugging capability, has played a critical role in uncovering criminal elements operating from within the company.
We are also experts in the correct use and installation of covert cameras, critical tools for deterring criminals and, importantly, capturing evidence for the successful prosecution of criminals.
Moreover, Havensec Solutions provides cutting-edge off-site monitoring services that either leverage clients’ existing cameras and related infrastructure, or our own state-of-the-technology as a local representative for some of the world’s leading security solutions developers.
These skills and capabilities have significantly bolstered businesses’ own critical internal security measures. At the most basic level, they include the extensive use of CCTV cameras to continually monitor warehouses, in addition to undertaking regular unannounced walks through strategic areas of the operation, including receiving bays, as well as entrances and exits.
Havensec Solutions continues to work closely with our many clients operating in a variety of industries to develop and implement a comprehensive security solution for their unique needs. They understand that the decisions they make today will impact on their organisation’s sustainability over the long-term.