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Are You a Licensed Private Investigator in Thailand?
Many people ask us "Are you a licensed private investigator in Thailand?"
There is no Thai government "licensed private investigator" in Thailand.
We have seen people claim to be a licensed private investigator in Thailand, and I sometimes wonder how many potential customers take that claim at face value without actually analyzing whether or not it is true, and licensed by what or who.
There have been several times over the years that professional private investigators in Thailand have discussed the possibility of setting up something along these lines -- between some private investigators and investigation companies, and some Thai government officials who have been pulled in, resulting in an ad hoc group who have met based on this proposition, in years past (long ago). Besides the idea of government licensing, there have also been discussions for setting up and establishing a non-governmental trade organization. Neither has resulted in anything significant, as regards private investigators in general. All that has come of it has been some refinement of matters regarding security guards, the vast majority of whom are simply neighborhood security guards. Regarding private investigators, the efforts I know about in the past have bogged down over some issues, and then fizzled out and faded away.
Some companies around the world have offered courses for training and resultant certificates, but when people ask about a private investigator "license" in Thailand, they usually mean by the Thai government, not some entity somewhere in the world which sells training courses and certificates. A "license" should be government issued.
Selling certificates is usually a money making business, which can be good if it really requires rigorous training and passing an exam which tests practical skills. They may require you buy an online course to start the process, and then pass their exam. How do you do practical training over the internet? Especially for surveillance and following people? How relevant is an online course by some small entity in another country to private investigations in Thailand? Who is vetting the course provider? How well recognized is it? Each certificate should be researched.
Likewise, there are books out there on how to be a private investigator. Some of these I've skimmed and found little new of potential value, but a lot of things missing. Some may be useful for somebody operating in, say, the USA, but we do not carry firearms, we do not do criminal investigations, and we do not need to know all the regulations of states in another country.
No overseas course can sufficiently prepare an investigator to operate effectively in Thailand. For that, you need to know the language, culture (and its many subcultures), geography, governmental systems, social conventions, local laws and regulations, and have a lot of experience in how things work across a broad spectrum of society. Also, you need good contacts.
The next best thing to licensing is incorporation. A serious private investigator should set up a company. Of course, we have set up our own company, as is clear on this website.
However, just having a registered company, whereby that company has a "business license" to do business in Thailand, in my opinion it would be misleading to claim a person is a "licensed private investigator" based on just a general business license.
This topic is somewhat related to another one on this website on whether you can trust your private investigation company.
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Our office is co-located with Export Quality Services Co., Ltd., aka EQ, which is the same company we previously operated under, but we split off the private investigations business to a daughter company, Lucky Lion Pride Co., Ltd., whereby EQ now focuses on language translation and some other things.