Risk Management Investigation Training Closing Remarks.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All Protocol Observed,

Investigations are not for the weak-minded. And not for those with skeletons in the closet.

Sometime in 2017, at Jinja Road traffic lights, a calm man walked to my car window and signalled me to lower it down. He made sure I was looking at him, and with his right hand, signalled me to look at his waist. He had an AK 47 shortgun. I was caught off-guard, and he asked me to pull aside. He calmly opened my car backseat and sat. He showed me a note, which had the name of the case I was investigating. He told me that to avoid future confrontation, I should excuse myself from the matter.

If you were me in the car at that time, what would you have told him? Listen on.

My name is Mustapha B Mugisa. My clients call me Mr Strategy.

As President of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, it is an honour to join you after this significant Investigations Training seminar hosted by the IRMG at the Esella Country Hotel.

Over the past three days, you have demonstrated exceptional commitment and enthusiasm, making this event truly remarkable. I have had the pleasure to look at the training program, and sample training content, and I am confident of the skills you have acquired. I have known and worked with your key Trainer, Sam Ayesiga, CFE, for over 19 years, first at EY, and later at ACFE Uganda Chapter. He is a meticulous professional. I wish to extend my appreciation to the IRMG’s Program Director, Henry Owora for organizing this training and his strategic thinking to explore partnerships with like-minded Institutions.

During this seminar, you have delved into several critical aspects of conducting effective investigations;

  1. Setting Up an Investigations Unit: You explored the essential factors to consider when establishing an investigations unit, including the size and nature of the organization, the complexity of cases, and the necessary skills and resources. This session emphasized the importance of having a dedicated team to handle investigations efficiently and effectively.
  2. Conducting Investigations: Through focused group discussions and case studies, you examined investigation strategies, team setup, and the development of investigation plans. You learned how to approach investigations methodically, from planning and evidence gathering to analysis and reporting.
  3. Collecting and Analyzing Evidence: You covered the types and categories of evidence, the characteristics of admissible evidence, and the importance of maintaining a reliable chain of custody. This training highlighted the meticulous process required to ensure evidence is credible and can withstand legal scrutiny.
  4. Conducting Investigative Interviews: The sessions on investigative interviews provided insights into effective interviewing techniques, the evaluation of evidence, and the importance of maintaining objectivity and thoroughness throughout the process.
  5. Disciplinary Hearings: We discussed the procedures and key considerations for conducting disciplinary hearings, ensuring that due process is followed, and the rights of all parties are respected.

You have gone a mile deep into the fraud risk investigations training.

I cannot overstate the importance of deeper training in our field. The complexities and challenges of investigations demand a profound understanding and a continuous pursuit of excellence. By immersing yourselves in comprehensive training, you not only enhance our skills but also fortify our capacity to uphold justice and integrity within our organizations. Your expertise is a shield against fraud and misconduct, and your dedication to mastering your craft sets a standard for others to follow. Your next level is attaining the Certified Fraud Examiner qualification. That way, you can enter any room with confidence with both the skills and certification to confirm it. Now you have some skills and no peer-reviewed certification to set you apart.

As President of ACFE, I have been involved in many investigations and disciplinary cases. Take the case of two fraud investigators who were assigned to similar cases involving financial discrepancies within their organizations.

The first investigator, lacking adequate training, approached the case with minimal preparation and limited understanding of investigative techniques. He started by interviewing suspects about the fraud which helped them hide some evidence. As a result, some critical evidence was overlooked and some lost, interviews were poorly conducted, and the final report was inconclusive. The fraud went undetected, causing significant financial loss and reputational damage to the organization.

In contrast, the second investigator, who had undergone extensive training and held a CFE certification, meticulously planned the investigation. Utilizing advanced techniques learned through their training, they gathered comprehensive evidence, conducted thorough interviews, and compiled a detailed report. This investigator not only identified the fraud but also uncovered systemic weaknesses that were subsequently addressed, preventing future occurrences. The organization not only recovered its losses but also strengthened its internal controls, enhancing its overall resilience.

There is a difference between a poorly trained investigator and one who has invested in their professional development. Training is not just an enhancement; it is a game-changer. It equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to perform your duties at the highest level, ensuring that justice is served and organizations are protected.

Great Career Opportunities Awaits

 The knowledge and skills you’ve gained here are not just tools for your current roles—they are stepping stones to greater career opportunities. The field of investigations is ever-evolving, and those who are well-equipped with advanced training are poised to lead and innovate. Your commitment to professional growth opens doors to new roles, greater responsibilities, and the chance to make a significant impact. Embrace these opportunities with confidence and ambition.

Benefits of CFE Certification

One of the most tangible benefits you can attain from this journey is the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification. This globally recognized credential is a testament to your expertise and commitment to the highest standards of the profession. Becoming a CFE not only enhances your credibility but also connects you to a prestigious network of professionals dedicated to fighting fraud. The discounted offer for IRMG members to obtain this certification is an opportunity you should seize. This certification will distinguish you as a leader in the field, opening doors to new possibilities and career advancements.

Our collaboration with the IRMG underscores our shared commitment to strengthening our competencies. This partnership is a cornerstone of our strategy to provide the best training and resources to our members. Together, we are building a future where integrity, expertise, and excellence are the norm. When I was strengthened with a gun, I decided to dedicate more effort to training and empowering more fraud examiners because I believe in strength in numbers.

As you conclude this seminar, take with you the knowledge, skills, and inspiration you have gained. You are the keeper of integrity, the driver of robust investigative practices. Your journey does not end here; it continues with every investigation you conduct, every system you strengthen, and every opportunity you seize.

Thank you for your dedication, your passion, and your commitment to excellence. Safe travels, and let us look forward to the next time we gather to share, learn, and grow together.

Thank you.

Mustapha B Mugisa, CFE
President ACFE Uganda Chapter.

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