Hiring a private investigator in Singapore is really just a situation majority of people expect not to encounter as it usually is associated with negative circumstances like their loved ones or spouse cheating on them, it could also be somebody important that is missing. However, this doesn’t mean that the local private investigation businesses in Singapore aren’t flourishing. Private investigators or PI in short draw businesses from all types of activities, which range from matrimonial investigations to computer forensics.
Unfortunately due to these circumstances faced by the individuals, finding a reliable private investigator in Singapore is most often a challenging task.
The dilemma of fees charged by private investigators has stirred some debate, for an example, in a matrimonial asset dispute in 2013, a wife was permitted to have a claim of only $10,000 from her unfaithful husband as a contribution for the PI mission investigating into the adultery of her husband, of which the PI expenses cost her $55,000 as the judge ruled her claim as being unreasonable.
Although it varies from a case by case basis, in a similar recent case in 2016, a wife paid private investigators up to $33,400 in expenses on the premised of the husband’s adultery. Thankfully, it was ruled by the Singapore High Court in favor of the wife who requested costs of $35,000 for the divorce.
Here’s an overview of the private investigation services offered, in addition to the concise breakdown of the private investigation industry, the summary of the types of services and associated legal problems:
Type of services and work private investigators perform:
Spousal surveillance (most often used for adultery cases);
The very first approach to catch your spouse cheating is to employ a private investigator (“PI”s). In case it turns out your spouse isn’t cheating, it is going to be a huge relief to learn your suspicions were untrue. The prospect of thinking your spouse is cheating can be sufficient to drive you insane.
Surveillance is among the best approaches to collect information as it is not hard to address a case by watching how someone interacts with other people. The absolute most important point to keep in mind is that any surveillance has to be legal, reasonable, and not overly intrusive.
Private investigators use various methods such as fixed surveillance also better known as (“stakeout”) which involves surreptitiously observing people and areas from a distance. Another common method used among PI’s is stationary technical surveillance, this method involves the use of installing a hidden camera, in some instances, recording equipment is used in a parked car. This method is also referred to as unmanned surveillance, as the name implies, it reduces manpower through the use of devices that investigators can use to record video and pictures. This can also reduce the risk of discovery.
Parental surveillance (also known as children surveillance);
In some instances, although not usually common, concerned parents approach us to aid them with monitoring their children’s online social life and activities. This involves the use of tracking software installed on the device which has the software capabilities to download e-mails, text messages and web histories. The sophisticated software also allows parents to monitor their online activity in real time alongside geographical location, the ideal thing about parental monitoring software is the fact that it can operate covertly. Another use of this surveillance is to monitor the online purchases made by their children.
However, if you ask a parent whether it is crucial to monitor their kid’s online activities, the reply will most likely be positive. Most individuals would never set a tracking device on their spouse, and there’s no justification to care for your son or daughter any differently.
This involves installing a CCTV system at home, you can keep your eye on your maid in addition to your children. This allows you to monitor the maid in real-time in case of any disobedience or foul play. With plenty of uses that the different kinds of hidden security cameras can be placed to, it’s no surprise there are so many different kinds of covert cameras out there in the industry to choose from. Placing the CCTV cameras ought to be carried out with suitable care, this can be done by hiring a private investigator agency like ours.
Employee monitoring surveillance;
There is an assortment of techniques and alternatives that may be employed by private investigators in carrying out investigations on the activities of workers. Resultantly, a PI will have the ability to advise the client regarding the legality of the methods utilized in the investigation. By employing the ideal PI who specializes in employee movement investigation, you are assured the ability to continue the standard operations of your organization as experts work on the situation.
Our private investigators have the ability to help in verifying your doubts to make sure that you have a crystal clear comprehension of your employee’s movements and activities, cutting back the business’s monetary losses and increasing productivity. The main purpose of employee movement investigation is to monitor the operation of workers so that employers can be alerted when certain actions are performed by means of an employee or any time the worker isn’t meeting productivity objectives.
Missing People Investigation;
Private investigators utilize a wide variety of resources to locate missing persons. Depending on the situation of the disappearance of the missing person, there are a number of unique strategies to start locating a missing person. But first, we have to understand the reasoning and causes behind why a person would go missing, this could be things such as avoiding family members, financial responsibilities or in some cases, have a history of illness that they don’t want others to find out. Each of these circumstances is handled differently.
Therefore the investigation is designed to route out and find out the most probable of errors which are possible to happen under the situation to make an early discovery. In the event of criminal activity, discoveries such as this have been designed to discover likely loopholes as well as the mistakes that are made which will be served as evidence of involvement, in addition to intentional clues discovered that may be provided by the concerned individual.
In summary, it mainly comes down to the skill set and experience of the PI and how well he/she investigates the case, hence, it’s crucial to find a reliable PI in Singapore to be tasked for this job.
Family member gambling-related movements;
One of the main signs of gambling addiction is the fact that it turns into an addicting compulsion which then affects all facets of the gambler’s life. Loved ones of folks experiencing gambling addiction may not be aware there is an issue until it has spiraled out of control.
In the event, you suspect a loved one has a problem gambling addiction, the first step to solving the problem is being aware of the issue so that you can take appropriate action. The next step is finding someone to confirm your suspicion, this can be done by hiring an experienced PI. It is very important to realize that gambling addiction is equally as real, and its consequences equally as tragic, like alcohol or drug abuse, so take the necessary action to fix the issue.
General investigation to obtain evidence (usually used in civil or criminal matters)
This usually refers to cases that do not fall into any specific category. Although there are numerous kinds of investigation, occasionally a case may call for different forms of investigation, like surveillance in criminal matters, trial preparation or medical investigation. It is vital that investigators can always operate within the law whilst conducting investigations.
Certain type of services and work that requires special approval from authority
Singapore law states that any service or work investigating into political entities, consuls, foreign diplomats or their own family members, in addition to conducting surveillance on specific protected government areas, certain private colleges, government buildings, foreign consulates, death and entry checkpoints require a mandatory approval from the Singapore Police Force. Hence, as a client, it is important to make sure the PI agency you’re hiring is abiding the law and has received the necessary training and approval beforehand.
Fee structure (as well as the cost associated with the task):
Hourly-rate: As the name implies, PI’s bill by the hour, known as hourly fees. This can range from $50 per hour to $150 (depending on the difficulty of the case).
Fixed-rate bundle fee: Investigative cases that involve longer hours (usually 30 hours) will be offered in a bundle-rate at around $1,200 or at a discounted rate. The rates are dependant on things like manpower required, equipment usage, location and durian of the task at hand. In most cases, a deposit has to usually be made, so make sure to compare the differences in fees and charges across different firms as the firm’s pricing is not governed by the Singapore government.
Procedures and process:
Firstly, the PI in charge must obtain necessary identification of the client such as his NRIC or passport as demanded by the Private Security Industry Act, this is followed by an inquiry through email or over the phone, and if needed, establishing a scheduled meeting.
The client will then have to express his or her objective such as the timing of the task (e.g. the entire day or just half a day)
Next, the client will have to sign a letter of authorization given by the firm. Optionally, the client can request the PI for attendance in court.
Records of the client and investigation particulars such as the time spent and information regarding the assigned PI is legally required by the PI Agency. The agency is also lawfully bound to keep the information acquired of its obligations as a licensed private investigation agency confidential.
Illegal work or services that private investigators cannot perform:
There are numerous illegal actions that PI’s can’t perform as they’re prohibited by Singapore law. A licensed PI agency will evaluate the client’s case and advise the client on whether the methods used for the investigation is legal. The authorities can’t issue any special acceptance for these prohibited activities as they’re against the law. This includes things like:
Obtaining court evidence through prohibited ways such as recording and spying of an individual;
Although the rule of thumb in Singapore states that illegally obtained evidence is still admissible in court, this is usually dependant on the discretion of the court to either include or exclude the evidence. The main concern here is the threat faced by both the PI and the client being sued under Singapore’s law for infringing the rights of the opposite party.
Accessing social media or email accounts without permission from the owner (Hacking of an account);
Such activities are prohibited under the Computer Misuse and Cyber Security Act, it states hacking into social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram as well as email accounts is illegal and is considered an offense.
Surveillance involving housebreaking
It is prohibited and illegal for a PI to commit an offense of housebreaking through recording or spying functions as private property under Singapore law is protected therefore both the client and PI hired for the investigation will be punished in a criminal courtroom.
Code of Ethics that private investigators abide by:
- Without prejudice to the duties established in this Code, PI’s are also obliged to comply with all the rules related to the profession.
- The work of the PI’s profession, which must be carried out without being subjected to any pressure, especially of those who may proceed from their own interests or external influences, is the guarantee that the interests of the client will be defended with total impartiality and objectivity.
- PI’s are subjected to professional secrecy and have the right and duty to keep secret of all the information gathered in his profession.
- The interests of the client must be attended with diligence and with commitment to seek the truth, only informing about facts from it’s source and without omitting information essential for the resolution of the case.
- The PI is free to accept or refuse services offered by the client, and in case of refusal to explain the reasons for the decision.
- When the PI in charge of a investigative work is aware of a crime, he/she has the obligation to inform the police authorities.
- The PI, to whom the competent authorities request the information that disposes on the crime, should be provided it as soon as possible.
- The PI must refrain from any practice of unlawful competence.
- All the services provided by the PI’s are obligatorily contracted through a service agreement, which will include the identification of both parties, domicile of the same, a breakdown of the services to be performed, value of the costs of said service and payment conditions.
- The relationship of the PI with the client has to be of mutual trust, leading in the profession with the utmost honesty, sincerity and morality.
- At the end of each service the PI must provide the client with the detailed report of all his work.
- The Private Investigator is obliged to:
- Comply with the Code of Ethics, the laws in force, the general or particular provisions, agreements and decisions adopted by the associative bodies within their competence.
- To denounce to the appropriate authorities all the acts of which it knows of scammers that pose as PI’s.
- To have consideration, respect and loyalty to the Government Institutions and the members that represent them when they act in that capacity.
- The PI shall refrain from unlawful interference in the conduct or acts of the party under investigation to prevent promoting or provoking situations.
Deciding how to hire the ideal private investigation agency:
Selecting the most suitable PI agency is among the most significant factors that will determine your outcome and success in the case. It is important therefore to be sure the PI agency you are planning to employ is accredited and licensed in Singapore as the Private Security Industry Act alongside similar subsidiary legislations regulate the activities of entire private investigation industry. The PI will walk you through the process and requirements to accomplishing the job. The SPF has licensing conditions spelled out for a PI, so make sure you understand what they are.
Additionally, the agency has to comply with all the Code of Conduct given. In regards to his credentials such as the degree of ability, qualification, and training. He or she has to make sure the information given to clients are accurate and not misrepresented. You ought to discover his record-keeping methods, in addition to more about the previous circumstances of the PI, to ensure you are charged appropriately for the services provided by him or her.
Contact us today for inquiries on your case.