A knowledgeable assembly of the world’s topmost detectives and security
practitioners brainstormed in Delhi, India to discuss and devise for the prevailing security scenario and challenges around the globe including India.
The 92nd Annual Conference of the World Association of Detectives was held in Shangri-La, New Delhi during 10-14 October 2017. The Conference holds special significance as it discussed important issues related to India including blackmoney, counterfeit currency, anti-corruption challenges, cyber security threats and so on. This is the second time that the WAD Annual Conference has been hosted in New Delhi, the first one was held in 1984. However, the recent one was organised under the guidance of the immediate President of WAD belonging to India, Kunwar Vikram Singh, who is also the Chairman of Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI), Association of Private Detectives & Investigators (APDI), and Security Sector Skill Development Council (SSSDC), India. Being an Indian, Mr. Singh took the lead to acquaint nearly 100 top sleuths and security professionals from around the world with the Indian culture and practices, the laws of the land, the scope and viability of security and investigation business in India, the approach of the Indian Government towards private security professionals, and other pertinent information.
APDI supported the WAD in organizing the event in India, and hosted and sponsored a great cocktail and dinner for all WAD delegates in Gymkhana Club. This happened first time in the history of WAD that a local association has offered a gala reception to their delegates.
“It is an honour to get an opportunity to host this prestigious event in India. India has several threats including black money, counterfeit currency, corruption and cyber security threats, and so on, and we will discuss these concerns on the forum,” Kunwar Vikram Singh said at the beginning of the session, “Issues like financial frauds, and tracking black money and people who disappear after embezzling money are a growing concern. We are here to support the government and help them establish a corruption free India as called by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
As discussed during the inaugural session of the conference, there is an exponential growth in the financial frauds and the requirement for background screening by companies and individuals. It leads the private detective market in India to grow at a rate of around 30 per cent annually and this is expected to touch a figure of INR1,700 crore by 2020.
“There is a huge private investigation market in India that ranges around INR500-600 crore, and as there are now background screening of top and middle level executives who join a company, due diligence in mergers & acquisitions, keeping tab on counterfeit goods and trade, insurance frauds, credit card frauds, marriage frauds due to the influx of matrimonial websites etc., we need a lot of new detectives, expectedly around 50,000 in the coming years,” Mr. Singh continues, “Given the tremendous growth of the sector, it needs to be a certified professional field. The government has brought a Bill called the Private Detective Agency (Regulation) Bill 2007 which is pending in the Parliament and we expect the Act to pass soon. The Act will provide for the licensing and creating the do’s and dont’s for the sector, and will pave way for the government to work with private detectives.”
The WAD is Colorado, USA based world’s largest and longest established association that represents investigation and security practitioners in more than 80 countries. It promotes and maintains the highest ethical practices among its members and fosters cooperation between investigators globally.
The Conference was inaugurated by Lt. Gen. Rajinder Singh (Retd.), former Director General (Infantry), Indian Army and former Commander of UN Peace Keeping Forces. In his inaugural speech he said, “The world has evolved exponentially in the last couple of decades, specifically in terms of how the society is governed, the role of citizens in it and how businesses are run. There are entities and individuals who are tempted to take short cuts for reaping benefits in a short span of time and it is here that private detectives can play a major role in checking them to practise such illegal and undue influences on the society and businesses.”
“Today the success of the corporate world largely depends on the novelty of an idea or intellectual property rights (IPRs) that they create, and that they need to protect as competitors or other pertinent ones are interested to know what they are doing. There are attempts to buy out people, bribe key officials etc., to get that information. The role of detectives starts here to protect them and ensure that ethical practices are taking place. Therefore, the private investigators can play a big role in checking corruption in the corporate world,” Gen. Singh adds.
Alongside internal Executive and Board meetings of WAD, Awards, as well as hosting networking opportunities, the 5-eventful day happening saw a seminar on Cyber Security and Dark Web by Pawan Duggal, the eminent Indian Cyber expert; a Round table dialogue on Anti-corruption Partnerships chaired by Michael Hershman, Group CEO, ECSS; and the insights of Anselm Lopez, Director, Strategic Relation Directorate, MHA, Singapore on ‘Threats to the Security Environment and Role of Interpol,’ and Shivindra Pratap Singh, MD, Lancers Risk Consulting on ‘Doing Business in India – Opportunity and Challenges’ respectively.
The stage also saw the election of the WAD new Board of Officers, which democratically takes place every year during the Annual Conference. Kunwar Vikram Singh has been elected as the new Chairman of WAD, followed by Conflict International Chairman Mike LaCorte as the President, who was earlier the 1st Vice President of WAD.
The 93rd WAD Annual Conference will be convened in Las Vegas, Nevada during 27 September – 1 October
Michael J. Hershman, currently the Group CEO of the International Centre for Sport Security – an independent and non-profit organisation at the forefront of efforts to safeguard sport – is an internationally recognized expert on matters relating to transparency, accountability, governance, litigation and security. Mr. Hershman founded The Fairfax Group in 1983 and since then has been retained by governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations and international financial institutions to assist on matters relating to transparency and accountability in governance and compliance.
In 1993, Mr. Hershman also co-founded and served on the Board of Directors of Transparency International, the largest independent, not-for-profit coalition promoting transparency and accountability in business, government and civil society. Since 2008, Michael has been named each year to Ethisphere Institute’s list of 100 most ethical global leaders in business ethics, and in 2013 he was awarded Columbia Business School’s ‘Botwinick Award for Business Ethics.’
Michael Hershman is also the founder of the International Anti-Corruption Academy and currently serves as Chairman of the Academy’s International Advisory Board. He also served for 14 years as Vice Chairman of the Interpol Group of Experts on Corruption. Michael is well known in India for reporting the alleged scam in Bofors deal.
SecurityLink India had an opportunity to interact with Michael during WAD Conference where he came to conduct the Round-table Dialogue on Anti-corruption; here are the excerpts:
SecurityLink India: What is International Centre for Sport Security?
Michael Hershman: The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) is an independent and non-profit organisation that plays an integral role in addressing the most prominent challenges facing the world of sport today. Having assembled a team of top international experts in sport safety, security, integrity and good governance; the ICSS works with multiple sectors with the aim of safeguarding sport.
SecurityLink India: How does Transparency International reach to a given corruption rank for a country?
Michael Hershman: Transparency International carries out an annual corruption perception index. This is prepared based on the survey done by the TI itself, as well by the different surveys done by different organisations for different countries. These surveys value add in finalising the report, and based on the reports TI ranks countries on corruption line.
SecurityLink India: What do you suggest to fundamentally curb corruption?
Michael Hershman: Right education and imparting right knowledge about the importance of the ethical life and corruption free society from the primary level would be of a great help. Young children don’t understand corruption. When I worked in Malaysia, I helped create Super-heros for children who fought evils in the form of corruption. That helped them understand what was good or bad.
SecurityLink India: Kindly give a brief about your involvement in the Bofors case in India?
Michael Hershman: I was not asked to investigate Bofors case and hence I did not have any intentional involvement in it. I was asked to look into the allegation of violation of Currency Control Regulations Bureau and in the course, I happened to stumble across those allegations of high level corruptions, kickbacks and bribes during Bofors deal. I tried to draw the attention of the right people in the immediate government, but unfortunately there were higher powers involved who did not want the case to be investigated, and so it never went very far. But it is interesting when we talk about big corruption cases like this, they may fade over time but never go away, and so we are talking about it even after around thirty years.
It was a grand opportunity for Indian Investigation Professionals to host 92nd Annual Conference of WAD at New Delhi. Interactive sessions with super sleuths of global fame has widened the v
ision of our professionals and offered them unique opportunities to partner with WAD members operating in other countries. This cooperation will help us to handle international assignments with better investigation skills acquired by them. Due to huge investments and joint ventures being attracted by the Modi Government, it will bring huge business opportunities for foreign based financial institutions to avail the services of Indian members of WAD to undertake due diligence of potential business partners. We are also expecting much more business from foreign based insurance, IPR, legal and risk consulting companies. Such Investigation will generate better trust between new business partners and usher an era of professional dependability and ethical compliance at all levels.
Being newly elected Chairman of the World Association of Detectives, I will strive to set up corporate relationship with National Associations of various countries so that a credible network of professionals can be further strengthened and new skills can be acquired to meet with new security challenges.
– Kunwar Vikram Singh
We have about 950 members in around 80 countries in the world and my vision to WAD is to promote it worldwide, increase its membership, and brand WAD to make it a one-stop shop for anyone in the world who is looking for international support. Building trusted relationships with like minded members in countries where you may have need for future investigations allows you to expand the scope and expertise of your business. We are devising and looking to collaborating and making associations with the local security associations in different countries that might help WAD to expand.
– Mike LaCorte