ACFE Member Profile
Managing Consultant, Southern Africa Institute of Security and Risk Management
“In order to fight fraud, one requires an investigative mind,” said Bobby Ndungu, Ph.D., CFE, CSSP, the president of the ACFE Zimbabwe chapter and Managing Partner of the Southern Africa Institute of Security and Risk Management. Ndungu encourages chapter members and fraud fighters to conduct fraud awareness campaigns so that the public is made aware of what fraud is and how to combat it. He was born in a town called Kwe- Kwe in the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe and has a passion for spreading fraud awareness and combating criminals in his home country. As he says, “Fraud fighting goes beyond the monetary benefits.”
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
When I joined the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as a security manager in 1993, I realized that there were a lot of identity theft and fraudulent activities being committed in the banking sector. In 2005, I became a CFE and that is when my journey in fighting fraud began. I noticed that the poor members of the public were being fleeced out of their hard earned cash through fraudulent activities. I worked hard to reduce the fraud levels in the banking sector.
What steps led you to your current role and what does that role entail?
On realizing that there was no training on fraud risk management in Zimbabwe, I started the Southern Africa Institute of Security and Risk Management in 2005. The institute offers certificate, diploma and advanced diploma professional courses in security, private investigations and fraud risk management. I also offer consultancy services in fraud risk management and assist organizations in designing anti-fraud policies and operating procedures.
What do you think contributed to your success?
My interest in investigations and continuous learning contributed to my success. Eventually starting the training institute also contributed to my current position.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
The most rewarding aspects of my job include the financial rewards from my consultancy work and the knowledge gained from meeting different people and sharing that knowledge with others during presentations and lecturers. Training fraud fighters and seeing them fight crime in their organizations and country is also rewarding.
What are the best opportunities for someone entering into your career?
In Zimbabwe, there is a lot of fraud and corruption going on. Organizations are losing billions of dollars through fraud, and organizations need consultants who can assist them to put fraud risk management strategies in place. There is a need to train expert fraud fighters and fraud risk management practitioners who will fight fraud in their organizations. Security and fraud consultants are therefore in demand.
Are there any trends (e.g. demographic, social, legal) that concern you?
Zimbabwe at the moment has no currency so the country has adopted what they call the “multi-currency.” This means that different types of currencies from other countries are used simultaneously. This has resulted in a liquidity crunch and most Zimbabweans are living on less than USD 2 per day. The political environment is not conducive and has resulted in more than 2 million Zimbabweans leaving the country. Companies are closing and workers being retrenched – some companies have not paid their employees for more than six months. These issues and other social and economic factors have contributed immensely to the high level of fraudulent activities in Zimbabwe.
What advice do you have for those looking to become a CFE?
You should be prepared for an exciting but challenging job. It requires resilience, trustworthiness and ethics. You should be able to lead by example. Also, when I started fighting fraud I wish I had known digital forensic investigations. I later realized that a fraud fighter requires knowing and understanding digital forensic investigations as today’s fraud crimes are computer-related.
Is there a memorable case or project that you have worked on? Feel free to alter details to protect confidential information.
I worked on a purchasing fraud case in 2010 when the company I worked for was defrauded of USD 5 million. The company policy was that there should always be three quotations for products or services. The purchasing manager had actually formed 21 companies in which he was a director. The purchasing manager would then source for three quotations from three of his companies and purport to be buying from the cheapest and saving the company money. The reality was that what was considered the cheapest quotation was actually inflated by 10 percent.
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