Economic crime in Germany is increasing

2024-04-03 09:35:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
Economic crime in Germany is increasing
Illustrative photo

The value of the damage of economic crimes runs into billions of euros. According to a survey, 34 percent of all companies in Germany faced cases of economic crime such as fraud, corruption, prohibited pricing, tax evasion or undeclared work last year. This is the highest rate since 2014, according to the survey by the Institute for German Economics (IW). IW surveyed representatives of 1,001 German companies, who were surveyed during 2023. Data from the Federal Criminal Police Office's (BKA) police crime statistics for developments in 2022 support this data, according to IW. The number of economic crimes increased for the third consecutive year. The total number of crime cases in 2022 was around 73,000. While in the last five years, the average number of crime cases in the company was about 53,000 cases. But IW assumes the number of unreported cases is even higher.

Damages over two billion euros

The monetary damage from economic crime during 2022 has reached more than two billion euros. This amount of crime consists only of the crimes reported in the PKS police crime statistics (1.3 percent). But more than a third (34.3 percent) of the total financial loss from all crimes reported to the BKA was due to cases of corruption, undeclared work or fraud. Despite the increasing number of cases, the amount of damage is decreasing, IW reports, referring to crime statistics. According to the study, the three departments of German companies most frequently affected by crime are IT (36 percent), sales and sales staff (32 percent), and finance and accounting (27 percent). The majority of all detected cases of economic crime were solved - in 2022 these cases were detected at a rate of 91.8 percent.

Lobbyists talk

The authors of the study have also evaluated the available data on the profiles of the perpetrators of the crimes. "Economic criminals in Germany are predominantly male, late 30s to mid-40s, white, usually of German origin, and have a high level of education combined with several years of professional experience in a leadership position," says the IW authors' summary of this study.

The typical German criminal in the economy is characterized as a person "with neurotic tendencies, extroverted and open to new experiences, not very conscientious and socially unacceptable". According to the research report, about half of economic crime in Germany is committed by perpetrators outside the company. /DW 

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