The National Development Bank (NDB) has officially launched Molomatsebe, the bank’s anti-fraud hotline, following its introduction in 2008.
The hotline was established in an effort to curb rampant corruption and economic crime especially in financial transactions.
When launching the hotline at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) last week, the bank’s audit committee chairperson, Cosmas Moapare, said statistics the world over had indicated that financial institutions are the most hit by fraud at 17% and that 12% of such fraud is committed by executives with an estimated loss of $750 000.
Moapare said half of the reported fraud is committed by lower level employees with an estimated loss of $50 000.
“International trends have also revealed that controls can only detect 19.2% of fraud and abuse in organisations, 20.2% is detected through internal audit, 3% by external audit, 51% by tips and 6.6% by accident,” he said.
Moapare said the use of the hotline as one of the tips evidenced by worldwide statistics is able to detect a further 44% of fraudulent activities within organisations.
Moapare added that the hotline facility was established to provide a resource which would assist in ensuring that any fraud or abuse that may be occurring in relation to the bank’s operations is exposed in a transparent manner and action is taken to mitigate against such practices.
“It is not intended to be an outlet for personal vendettas or frivolous information.
This is a serious attempt to help protect the bank’s resources or assets against fraud and abuse.”
Reports that are received, Moapare said, are given the utmost attention and followed to the full satisfaction of the bank.
“The identities of all whistleblowers remain anonymous unless otherwise requested by the whistleblower,” he said.
Subsequent to the initial introduction, Moapare said, the bank found it necessary to officially launch the hotline as a way of generating awareness and interest amongst stakeholders.
“We all know that fraud as an organ is also subject to revolving trends as more technology is developed and individuals are becoming more and more innovative including ways of conducting fraudulent activities,” he said.
NDB Chief Executive Officer Lorato Morapedi said the hotline has not been used effectively ever since its introduction six years ago as the bank had only received small scale reports.
“The nature of the reports was basically on broad issues related to suspected fraud, suspected unethical conduct in the work place, human resource related issues, suspected staff and client dishonesty,” she said.
As a way forward, Morapedi said the bank would undertake annual sensitisation of staff on fraud and other irregularities and that the induction process for new staff would include training on the bank’s policies relating to fraud and the application of the hotline.
“Annual refresher mini-workshops and continous training on money laundering will be conducted.
There will be communication of the reports made and where possible the results will be communicated.
The hotline will be availed on the public domain through various promotional interventions such as the bank’s corporate and promotional literature, website and others,” she said.
The hotline can be accessed through all three phone companies operating in Botswana and via e-mail.
BTC 0800 600 644, Orange 1144, Mascom 71119673 and the e-mail address is email@example.com.