Germany next to Nigeria in fraud report

German businesses have reported one of the highest levels of corruption in the world, with one in four managers saying they had experienced a significant case of fraud in the last two years.

Germany next to Nigeria in fraud report
MAN was fined €150 million by a Munich court in 2009 for failing to prevent corruption. Photo: DPA

Only firms in countries notorious for corruption such as Nigeria, Egypt, Namibia and Kenya reported more fraud in the survey of 2,700 managers in 59 countries from accounting firm Ernst &Young (EY).

Their 2014 Global Fraud Survey showed that in Germany only six percent of firms thought fraud was widespread, yet 26 percent reported serious cases of fraud within the last two years.

That was the highest level in Europe alongside Norway, more than Russia (16 percent) and almost as much as Nigeria (30 percent). The average for western Europe was 12 percent.

But rather than being a sign of increased economic crime, the high number of detected frauds was an indication of the intense efforts of German companies to tackle corruption, Stefan Heißner from EY told Welt newspaper.

"Awareness of the dangers posed by corruption among companies has increased significantly in recent years," said Heißner.

In the last decade, major German companies including Siemens, MAN and Daimler have been embroiled in corruption scandals.

And the country's most recent high-profile corruption case has involved Berlin’s new international airport where the technical director was fired in June amid allegations he demanded a bribe from a contractor.

Heißner said that despite their efforts German companies were still at risk of fraud, especially firms heavily involved abroad.

But closer to home, one in four managers in Germany also thought it was appropriate to offer entertainment to win a contract.

EY said in a statement: “Our survey shows that the risks businesses are facing are not receding. The incidence of fraud and reported levels of corruption are not declining.”

The survey interviewed 50 managers in Germany

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Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents

German police have set up a special team to fight a growing number of forged vaccine certificates being sold in the black market

Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents
People who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Police in Cologne have warned of a group of fraudsters selling fake vaccination certificates, a growing problem the scale of which is still unclear.

The police said the fraudsters worked in encrypted Telegram chats, making investigations difficult, and were selling fake documents with all the stamps and signatures, including a mark about vaccination with BioNTech or AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Germany probes Covid-19 testing centres for fraud

The fraud involved both real traffic in fake documents as well as scams luring customers into paying €100.

People in Germany who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Those who don’t have a booklet get a piece of paper.

Covid health passes are currently being rolled out across the EU, with a European health passport expected to be available from mid-June.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

Over 44% of the adult population in Germany has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 18% of Germans have been fully vaccinated.

German police have said forged coronavirus vaccine documents are becoming an increasing problem.

Last month, a couple in Baden-Württemberg was accused of selling fake coronavirus vaccination certificates.