Help stop the Trade of Ivory!

Help spread the word – ELEPHANT ADVOCACY LEAGUE has launched a new online campaign to help stop the illegal TRADE of IVORY!   Enviro-Lynx Investigations is dedicated to helping this organization put an end to elephant poaching and the illegal trade of ivory.  Buying illegal ivory (which is most of the ivory out there) is … well illegal.  Beyond that, it costs the lives on many people every year and it devastates already challenged elephant populations.

How can you make good decisions without good information?

The other day, I had a call from a friend.  He wanted to know how to conduct a due diligence on a company that he wanted to invest a substantial sum of money with.  He gave me the company’s name and the name of the individual that he was dealing with.  That’s all he had.   After a few inquiries, I determined that the company had only been registered a month.  The administrative address for the company was a post office box and there was only and director – lets call him John Smith since his real name was almost as common as this one.

After many, many hours of research and utilizing almost ever resource at our disposal, we were finally able to identify John Smith,  the business owner.  Subsequent inquiries revealed John Smith’s involvement in a long list of bankrupt companies, on-going civil cases and a number of IRS / tax related cases and liens.  Definitely a guy with a questionable business capabilities.

Since this request came from a close friend, I called him as soon as I had put all the pieces together.  Much to my surprise, and it takes quite a lot to surprise me these days, my friend had gone ahead and invested his money with John Smith less than 6 hours after making the initial call for help to me.  He said he didn’t want to miss out on  this “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Needless to say, he is now trying to get his money back from John Smith.  He also graciously agreed to let me tell his story here in the hopes that others will think twice and do their due diligence prior to making major investments or business decisions.

Less than half of UK firms carry out due diligence in their supply chain

An interesting article was posted on Continuity Central that I thought might be of interest to you all.  I found it very enlightening …

Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services team found that 48 percent of UK firms carry out due diligence in their supply chain, with a further 30 percent never doing any checks. The survey of procurement managers and directors also reveals only 6 percent have ever been made aware of unethical activity in their supply chain. The research, which covers UK companies operating across a range of sectors and countries, also found that 14 percent did not know what third-party due diligence meant.

John Smart, Partner and UK head of Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation team, said: “The current issues around contamination of products have highlighted the importance of understanding and ensuring the integrity of the supply chain, which is a big part of the DNA of many businesses. Companies are, in most cases, responsible for the actions of third parties acting in their name; however our research reveals that firms, across a range of sectors, are not carrying out basic checks.

“In the case of packaging, when stating the provenance and integrity of products, companies must be able to stand by their claims, requiring transparent disclosure of the entire supply chain. Companies need to be able to defend such statements and to demonstrate traceability of the data and declarations upon which it relies and which form the basis of the trusted relationship it attempts to build with its customers.”

Under legislation firms must ensure that they have put in place measures to ensure the prevention of potential wrongdoing among business partners acting in their names. In particular, following the introduction of the UK Bribery Act, companies must demonstrate they have ‘adequate procedures’ in place to address third- party risks. If they are not compliant companies can be fined or executives imprisoned.

Smart continues: “Relevant laws and regulations, the approach of enforcers and public expectation mean it is crucial for companies to adopt the same risk procedures for third parties that they would routinely enforce in other parts of their business. Firms need to ensure they have an appropriate procurement policy embedded across the organization. It is also important to clearly capture information about the sourcing of products and materials to ensure highlighting of potential non-compliant behavior.”