Although so-called white-collar crime cost Norway more than social security fraud, far greater resources are used to disclose dishonest social service recipients than criminal managers.
This is disclosed in a report called “tip of the iceberg” by the think-tank Manifest, submitted on their annual conference according to the newspaper Klassekampen.
The report estimates that economic crime committed by individuals by virtue of their position and trust in various businesses, is costing society NOK 12 billion annually. The projection for social security fraud is at NOK10 billion.
Combating white collar crime should be given higher priority, says Professor Petter Gottschalk, one of the report’s authors. His suggestion includes doubling the number of employees in the Norwegian economic crimes unit (Økokrim).
– There is a major problem that so many crimes are neglected. Firstly it has a considerable economic significance, as each case can amount to several million.
– Secondly, these crimes are committed by persons in positions of trust in the society’s elite, and when they go scot free it undermines the entire social pact, says Gottschalk.
He says suspected social benefits frauds most often lead to verdicts, while the opposite is the case with white-collar crimes.
– White-collar criminals are extremely costly to bring to justice, because they have more resources to hide their crimes and can afford better legal assistance, appeal their case and using all sorts of means to avoid sentencing.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today