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Surveillance Policies of our Bangkok, Thailand office

This is not a long legalese Terms and Conditions position which is too long to read, it is mainly just an explanation of some of the fundamentals we follow to give people a better understanding, and covers some of our policies on how we handle some of our cases, especially surveillance. Indeed, given the very wide range of private investigations, it's really not feasible to write up a T&C document to cover everything. You can read the following to get a better idea of how we deal with clients and cases.

The vast majority of our investigations go smoothly and nicely with our clients. However, one of the reasons we don't have many bad experiences is because we usually have reasonable clients who are open to two-way communications, and we screen whether or not we are a good match for our client. With many clients, we haven't even bothered to discuss "terms and conditions" too much, we just went forward based on trust and good rapport.

However, some inquiries and cases have gotten into some issues, so we want to make some things clear:

Staying discreet is our top priority.

We are usually able to follow a person from the start to the planned end, successfully and discreetly. However, sometimes we lose a person. It is far more common for us to lose a person than to be suspected. It is rare and unusual for our surveillance people to be suspected.

There are tradeoffs in being discreet vs. aggressive. For example, if we must make a split second decision during surveillance, we would rather lose somebody on a particular day than blow a case. If a case is blown, it can disturb the person of interest, possibly upset your relationship with the person of interest, and end the surveillance at that point, potentially before sufficient evidence has been collected. It is better to keep the case alive to follow again another day and try to get a good result, whatever that result may be.

We are very rarely suspected of surveillance in the field. This is because we have standard operating procedures for staying discreet during surveillance, use trained and experienced staff (though occasionally an apprentice in a more minor role after training, managed by experienced staff), and people normally are not looking out for surveillance.

We have actually followed many people who WERE looking out for surveillance, some of whom were even practicing standard surveillance detection routines, whereby we were successful and not detected, e.g., people doing illegal or unethical or other sensitive business, as well as just lovers who we have caught on video before and who were already confronted with our video before we resumed following again whereby they were looking out for surveillance but still did not detect it and got caught cheating on their partner again. However, you should tell us if a person has been followed before because we should take extra precautions, which also increases our chance of losing them, but that's better than blowing the case because we can continue later. People often get complacent if they think they are not being followed again, and may reach that conclusion early during their outing.

If a person of interest is engaging in behavior of special interest, e.g., if we are following a wife and she is with another man, then of course we typically get closer and more assertive in our surveillance. (Indeed, when couples are together, they tend to be even less aware of their environments.)

A reason I'm writing this is sometimes we get a very intense and demanding clients who seems to not understand the differences between Hollywood and the Real World, or else has an unrealistic imagination and believes things will unfold like that. For example, they want excessive amounts of video of nearly the person's every move even if they are not doing anything suspicious. (We provide videos and photos intermittently, but usually not an hour long video for an 8 hour case. We focus on staying discreet, following, making quick analyses and decisions, and team communications.) Sometimes they want us to get way too aggressive during times of suspicious behavior such as a male agent following inside multiple go-go bars and taking video within them (we don't have multiple expat male agents unless you've got very deep pockets), or too tricky interactive encounters, or excellent dark lighting videos from a distance or too close up, etc., instead of just tracking and waiting for a better opportunity to get more relevant videos such as during public displays of affection, not running around single. If intermittent photos and videos are not enough, and if a client doesn't believe what we report, then the client can try using somebody else, because we don't want to get detected and suspected anywhere, for evidence which is of little value.

We focus mainly on discreetly watching and following, and taking discreet videos over time. We try to avoid interactions with people when unnecessary. We keep any necessary interactions to the minimum, such as talking with any people in the environment, or even interacting with the person of interest, which we usually try to avoid. If the client wants us to interact with the person of interest, then that should be considered in advance ... not an order from the client on the fly during surveillance.

For example, to find a missing girlfriend, and to confirm that she is in fact at the particular location, clients sometimes want us to send flowers to her and to identify her at that location, that she is the one receiving the flowers herself at the location she specifies. This is not something we recommend, except as a last resort, and with acknowledgement of the risks. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and many ladies have heard about this tactic from the grapevine, or may just get suspicious. If it's not necessary, then such a shortcut should not be tried. If it is tried, then the risks are the responsibility of the client who ordered it.

We absolutely will not harass any person of interest nor their innocent liaisons. For example, one client blew a case while we were following, against our agreement, then demanded we drive right up extremely close to his wife's vehicle with her romantic liaison also inside, to show them they are being followed aggressively. Of course, we refused and we broke off and turned away immediately due to the breach of agreement, that he had revealed our surveillance. Others have wanted to "get back at" their partner's liaison who might not have known they were with a married person or with somebody who had another romantic partner. People can remove wedding rings. How would a new boyfriend know that a lady is married, when the husband is overseas? A colluding boyfriend may be different, but still, we don't want to harass people, we just collect evidence.

We normally send clients video which clearly shows the face of the liaison of their romantic partner, and might be able to identify their liaison, too, depending upon circumstances. In some cases, we switch from following the client's romantic or marital partner to following their liaison in order to find out who that person is, what kind of person they are (such as prostitute or what), and so on. However, this is for informational purposes only, so you better understand the situation. We don't go do something bad to that person.

Some cases have a foreign man with a Thai lady partner who also has a Thai boyfriend one step down the food chain who apparently knows about the foreign man, e.g., when he calls, we see the Thai boyfriend hear everything, or hide on a video call. What you do about that is up to you, but we can try to identify the Thai guy.

However, occasionally but very rarely, we run into a significant issue as regards surveillance footage of a partner's liaison. For example, if we are following a wife or girlfriend and she has a liaison with a man who just happens to be a big politician or government official in a very highly sensitive position, or somebody else rather Earth-shaking like that beyond just your personal case, then we might blur out the man's face in photos and videos sent, or correspondingly the woman's face if we are following a boyfriend or husband and a similar situation arises. Usually, we don't blur out any faces. It comes up only in some exceptional "Oh my goodness!" case discoveries. We have encountered some very famous people or those in very sensitive positions. I'm not talking about just some ordinary famous socialite or big rich business person, as we can send you video with their faces, but sometimes it's very exceptionally sensitive, and if things are mishandled, then it could have significant repercussions in a much broader way far past your personal situation. In such cases where we blur a face, we are usually okay to show the client the raw video or photos in our office, so you can see their faces and who they are, but just not release digital copies of them out of our control. We may release photos and videos with blurred faces to you out of our control. Again, this is rare, but has happened occasionally over the years, including some very jaw dropping cases. Generally, we reserve the option to blur out the face of any liaison in photos and videos sent. However, for legal cases, the faces are left intact, generally.

You must agree to not reveal our identity to the people we do surveillance or research on, unless necessary such as for a legal case, a police or other official matter, and some other exceptions which you should discuss with us in advance of revealing our identity.

We are not too worried about angry people showing up at our office (and they may be in for a surprise), but we just want to avoid the hassles and annoyances which are not necessary, and which we don't have time to hassle with, the annoyances and distractions. Such things have happened many times since we went public in 2002, angry people coming to our office, and things like that. (We have standard operating procedures for handling that, too, but would rather avoid it altogether.) Also, in cases involving extremely sensitive liaisons, we should not be too self-centered but consider the potential repercussions.

We are not hired mercenaries for the rich, willing to do anything we are directed to do and could get away with, without regard to ethics.

Another issue is that expectations can be unrealistic, so I'll cover this in advance. As noted before, some people think this is like Hollywood or have wild expectations. We don't try to take videos through windows into private bedrooms, we don't snake cameras under doors, we don't climb trees to see over walls, etc. Yes, we've been asked to do all these things and much more. As regards more ordinary places, we sometimes cannot get great video in dark places, or the best angles for a particular moment that unfolds quickly on the fly. This is not a Hollywood script with cameras deployed in advance to places people flippantly choose to turn into.

Sometimes, we've encountered demanding, unreasonable, and abusive language (people can get too emotional and/or try to be manipulative). I'm not talking about just a little bit of pushiness or a temporary reaction in frustration, as I understand human nature and actually I'm quite patient and tolerant. However, sometimes it just goes on too long or gets to be too much. As noted before, we reserve the right to end any investigation at any time and return the difference in money.

For a particular kind of case, there might be some additional policies, or some things we should discuss as regards how we should proceed for your particular case. "One size does not fit all."

Often, clients leave all or most of the surveillance operations to us after giving us the objectives and the information needed. We normally analyze the case and may survey the environment, and make decisions ourselves. If the client wishes, we can usually discuss our strategy with the client and have a two way dialogue. Occasionally, some clients may suggest ... or try to tell us ... how to do our job. We usually don't take offense at that, are welcoming to ideas and discussions, understand that many clients like to know what's being planned and what's going on, and are okay to discuss the pluses and minuses of various approaches. Some suggestions are good ideas, but many are too simplistic and don't consider the issues of risks regarding some client suggested strategies. You may also discuss with us just how aggressive you want us to be in surveillance, and we can discuss with you any significant risks involved in following any initial directions from you, and may suggest alternatives. The vast majority of cases follow standard operating procedures, but sometimes there are exceptions. We try to remain flexible, but do have our limits in what we are willing to do.

Problems sometimes arise with some clients who are a bit overbearing and try to tell us what to do in a one-way conversation like they are just hiring us to take their directives, and they have no experience in investigations like they are trying to direct us to do, often with bad ideas which are likely to blow an investigation and/or not be effective and/or go against our policies, when actually we have better methods for doing their investigation. Some people just overconfidently think they know best, and imagine others as dummies or slackards who need to be directed and pushed. We will push back, and if they don't become reasonable then we may stop the case and refund the unused part of the money.

We also sometimes have clients who turn to abusive language. Typically, these are clients with a lot of money who are accustomed to dealing with their sycophants, subordinates, and low level underlings (and girlfriends) who put up with their abuses in order to get reward money. We are not mercenaries. We reserve the right to terminate any investigation and refund the remainder of the money at any time, full stop.

There are some other private investigators out there who will do whatever they can if you pay them, either within or outside the law, including many illegal things which they know probably nobody would prosecute for realistically. Or, they might do things without regard to the potential consequences, and quickly just make some money. Just because we could do things without any repercussions to ourselves, that doesn't mean we would. We've had people try to hire us for offensive or questionable mercenary things, and when we decline, they are aghast, like "Isn't that what private investigators do?" Yes, it's what some other private investigators do, but not us. Just because we could doesn't mean we would, for money.

I have normally been a nice and gentle person who listens carefully to others. However, that has sometimes been misinterpreted by some people as a sign of weakness and easy obedience and submissiveness, whereby they can manipulate or push me into doing bad or very questionable things. These are sometimes somewhat psychopathic or sociopathic people who actually don't understand and read some other kinds of people well. They can be surprised at my reactions. So if you're one of these people, you may as well move on past me right now, save yourself some time, effort, and frustration, and find somebody else.

Many people get rich and get ahead in this world by aggressive selfish behavior and not caring. They can find another private investigator who is likewise a better match.

That said, the vast majority of our clients are nice and considerate, and our investigations usually go smoothly. However, maybe that's because (1) overly aggressive people read this page and move on without contacting us, and (2) we screen people who do contact us. We accept most cases but have turned down a lot of cases. We don't actually need money too much, nor do we seek to maximize our income. We have a conscience whereby we try to help good people, help solve puzzles, try to find out the truth with evidence, and we would rather live with peace of mind based on caring and trying.

In short, if you have a lot of money and want to hire a mercenary to just take your directives without considering the ethics then you should go elsewhere. However, if you want to engage a civil private investigator and respect our experience and expertise, and be mutually respectful, then please make contact with us.

  > Surveillance Policies

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2003 - 2024 public website, expat in Thailand since 1994.

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