Covert Surveillance

Covert Surveillance

We were engaged by a FTSE 250 financial institution who wished us to trace the whereabouts of one of their employees. The individual was as a senior Executive Director who had effectively disappeared for a number of days without explanation and ceased communicating.

Aside from his personal well-being, they were concerned that he was in possession of highly sensitive information pertaining to a large ongoing trade.

Outcome

Utilising traditional investigative means, we quickly located the subject in a Monaco hotel. The client then requested that we monitor and assess his movements over a 5-day period.

During this period, we were able to ascertain and evidence to the client, that the subject conducted several meetings with one of their main competitors. Furthermore, we discovered that he was divulging confidential and sensitive information, in clear breach of his contract, in an attempt to secure employment with the rival firm.

Our evidence was passed back to the client and their solicitors instigated legal proceedings, which resulted in the company salvaging the ongoing trade and avoiding potential reputational damage.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Surveillance is an extremely effective and timely method of uncovering evidence to support any investigation; whether it is employed as a means of assisting with a matrimonial dispute, uncovering hidden assets or seeking evidence of internal fraud.

At Matrix, we employ some of the most highly trained former government operatives and can deploy former police trained surveillance operatives at short notice, and we are specialists in conducting sensitive and discreet investigations.


Pre-Litigation Support

Pre-Litigation Support

We were engaged by a client to conduct a Pre-Litigation report on a Chinese debtor who resided in the UK; specifically ascertaining their current whereabouts and assets.

They had entered into a loan agreement with our client for the sum of GBP 10,000 and subsequently defaulted.

It was not possible to trace the debtor with the precise information provided by the client, however; using variants of the Subjects surname, we were able to positively identify them and their current whereabouts.

Outcome

Our investigation revealed that the subject had one potential asset charged by a lender, one Unilateral Notice Charging Order issued by Central London County Court and three unsatisfied monetary judgements totalling nearly GBP 70,000.

Based on the Intelligence that we established, our Client was able to make an informed decision as to whether to issue proceedings, obtain a judgment and join the other charge holders on the property.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence are regularly engaged by legal firms, litigation funders and HNWs to undertake Pre-Litigation profiling to ascertain an individual’s: estimated wealth, background, corporate affiliations and discover any reputational red flags. Experts in this field, with over a decade’s experience, we are perfectly placed to advise and assist with high-end disputes and litigation.


Brand Protection & Counterfeit Product Investigation

Brand Protection & Counterfeit Product Investigation

Matrix Intelligence were engaged by a global tobacco firm to assist with their brand protection strategy and investigate the presence of counterfeit product within each country in which they operated.

We targeted Germany, Poland and Sweden and commenced by ascertaining how their clients procured their product. Each country was different, with a mixture of online and over-the-counter purchases and recreational use of their product in specialist cafes.

We devised a blended strategy, which entailed establishing a fake online company to pose as a large buyer on online forums, whilst simultaneously conducting on the ground investigations and discreet site visits to re-sellers within each country. We also spoke with the police and customs authorities in each country.

Outcome

Our investigations enabled us to identify several major suppliers of counterfeit product and track the source of the product back to a tobacco factory in Ukraine. Furthermore, we established that the criminals were managing to circumvent the company’s brand protection measures, because company employees were actively colluding with them.

We produced a detailed report of our findings for the client which enabled them to engage with the authorities in each country to report the criminal activity and also to review the company’s internal protocols to prevent further employee collusion.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Prior to informing your legal team, the police and/or regulatory authorities, it is often beneficial to first understand what exactly you are dealing with. You can then make an informed decision as to how best to proceed. Immediate financial losses aside, acting quickly is key to minimising any potential reputational damage and/or impact upon your clients or associates.

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in conducting sensitive and discreet investigations.


Pre-Transactional Due Diligence For Financial Firms

Pre-Transactional Due Diligence For Financial Firms

An EAM (External Asset Manager) approached Matrix on the basis they had been introduced to an UHNW (Ultra High-Net Worth) individual who wished to set-up a regulated structure as a personal business and have the EAM provide investment services to the respective assets.

There was little information available on the individual himself, however; there was disparaging information on the internet relating to the individual’s family and their business activities. Our client engaged us to investigate the matter further and produce independent reports on the individual, his relationship with his family and their business activities.

Outcome

As it transpired, the final reports did not identify any adverse material on the individual himself, but it did provide further information on potentially significant issues facing his family and their business. Having identified these potential risks, our client was able to put in place processes and procedures for mitigation purposes prior to deciding to progress with the business case.

The compliance folder which we enabled the EAM to compile was sent to other service providers who were subsequently able to make their own assessment of the client and ultimately, accept the business case.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

If you have cause to believe you may have been the victim of Fraud, then Matrix Intelligence can assist. Prior to informing your legal team, the police and/or regulatory authorities, it is essential to first understand how long, widespread and entrenched the activity is. You are then able to make an informed decision as to how best to proceed.


Financial Investment Fraud

Financial Investment Fraud

Matrix Intelligence were instructed by a Client who suspected that they may have been the victim of an elaborate fraud.

The client was approaching retirement, had a comfortable pension provision and investment portfolio and had recently invested funds with a new financial investment company which had promised market-beating rates of return.

Over subsequent months, the client received regular communications illustrating substantial growth and offering opportunities to top-up their investment. The client did so on two further occasions with increasingly larger sums.

Within a few months the investment had grown so large that the client decided to cash-out and realise their profit. It was at this point the client began to suspect that he had been the victim of fraud when the investment company informed them that they could only withdraw their funds if they first invested one final significant sum of money. When the client refused, things turned nasty, with the company starting to use threatening language.

The investment company then claimed that the funds were not held in the UK, as previously stated, but that they were actually in the U.A.E and that because the account was ‘in dispute’, it would be frozen pending an investigation by the Dubai Investment Authority. It was at this point that Matrix Intelligence became involved.

Outcome

We conducted an investigation into the company and key individuals and quickly ascertained that this was an elaborate fraud. They had cloned the website of a legitimate financial firm and setup email accounts which mimicked the originals. By coaching our client and maintaining ongoing communication with the fraudsters, we were able to trace them to an address in the UK and provide a detailed report as to their activities.

The client was unwilling to pursue a prosecution due to the cost of doing so and poor likelihood of recovering their funds, however; they were able to use our report to enable them to write off their investment as a legitimate loss and offset it against their tax liability.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

If you have cause to believe you may have been the victim of Fraud, then Matrix Intelligence can assist. Prior to informing your legal team, the police and/or regulatory authorities, it is essential to first understand how long, widespread and entrenched the activity is. You are then able to make an informed decision as to how best to proceed.


Special Investigation Blackmail

Special Investigation Blackmail

A HNW (High Net Worth) client approached Matrix Intelligence for assistance after he was targeted by a Chinese woman intent on coercing him to engage in business transactions under threat of blackmail.

What started out at face value as a legitimate business relationship, quickly soured after the blackmailer seduced our client, took compromising pictures and then shared these with his two wives. She then threatened to go public if our client didn’t hand over a substantial sum of money.

Outcome

Our investigations quickly ascertained that her self-publicised credentials were fictitious and that she had a historical pattern of similar behaviour; positively identifying two of her previous victims in the process.

We also managed to trace a publicity company in Beijing which the woman had engaged to improve her internet image; by removing historical negative articles and embellishing her profile by posting fake news. Matrix Intelligence presented the client with a comprehensive and informative report which irrefutably proved her to be a fraudster, thus enabling his legal team to cancel signed contractual obligations. Our client also approached the local police chief with a copy of our report and he personally contacted the subject to inform her that she would be arrested if she returned to the country. After this the subject was not heard from again.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Prior to informing your legal team, the police and/or regulatory authorities, it is often beneficial to first understand what exactly you’re dealing with. You can then make an informed decision as to how best to proceed. Immediate financial losses aside, acting quickly is key to minimising any potential reputational damage and/or impact upon your clients or associates.

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in conducting sensitive and discreet investigations.


Pre-Transactional Due Diligence For Corporates & HNWS

Pre-Transactional Due Diligence For Corporates & HNWS

Matrix Intelligence are regularly engaged by legal firms, litigation funders and HNWs to undertake Pre-Litigation Profiling to ascertain a Subject’s: estimated wealth, background, corporate affiliations and discover any reputational red flags.

Our reports provide clients with the information required to enable them to make informed decisions about whether a Subject is worth suing and whether there are facts, other than the legal merits of a claim, which would potentially influence a decision as to whether to initiate legal proceedings or not.

In one such instance we were engaged to conduct Pre-Transactional Due Diligence on a Client’s prospective new business partner; a UK based company and key affiliated individuals.

To address our Client’s concerns, we conducted preliminary OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) research to better understand the profile of the Subjects and their affiliated companies, with particular focus on checking for potential or active litigation (criminal and civil). Our aim in doing so was to identify any Red Flags in the UK, or other jurisdictions, which would better inform our client as to the risk he was facing.

Outcome

We were able to inform our client that three of the Company owners were suspected of “misrepresentation” on a criminal basis. The sum involved was GBP 6m and the case dated back a little over a year. In addition, we discovered the Serious Fraud Office were taking an active interest in the three individuals.

Our report enabled our client to walk away from the transaction and mitigate their exposure to potential reputational damage and financial losses at a very early stage.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence undertake risk analysis and Due Diligence investigations prior to acquisitions, joint ventures or investments. Ideally, we are engaged at an early stage before legal costs and other professional fees are incurred; as this will mitigate the impact if adverse legal, financial or operational issues come to light.

We provide detailed and cost-effective reports, prepared by a team of specialists,  to enable our clients to make informed and timely commercial decisions.


Bespoke Pre-Transactional Due Diligence For Real Estate Clients

Bespoke Pre-Transactional Due Diligence For Real Estate Clients

Matrix Intelligence undertakes Due Diligence investigations prior to acquisitions, joint ventures or investments. Ideally, we are engaged at an early stage before legal costs and other professional fees are incurred; as this will mitigate the impact if adverse legal, financial or operational issues come to light.

We are regularly tasked by a major international Real Estate client to conduct bespoke Due Diligence on the owners and senior managers of potential business partners throughout Europe, East Asia and Africa.

We are regularly tasked by a major international Real Estate client to conduct bespoke Due Diligence on the owners and senior managers of potential business partners throughout Europe, East Asia and Africa.

During one such task, we conducted open and closed source enquiries in Germany on an aspiring business partner and uncovered several compliance and financial red flags. This information had not been previously disclosed, nor was it in the public domain. Subsequent enquiries through local sources uncovered questionable business credentials and enabled the Client to make an informed decision to terminate discussions before entering into a binding contract.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence undertake risk analysis and Due Diligence investigations prior to acquisitions, joint ventures or investments. Ideally, we are engaged at an early stage before legal costs and other professional fees are incurred; as this will mitigate the impact if adverse legal, financial or operational issues come to light.

We provide detailed and cost-effective reports, prepared by a team of specialists, to enable our clients to make informed and timely commercial decisions.


Multi-jurisdictional Asset Tracing – Cyprus, Russia, Former CIS Countries

Multi-jurisdictional Asset Tracing – Cyprus, Russia, Former CIS Countries

Matrix Intelligence routinely operates within these jurisdictions and our capabilities are exceptional. Utilising proprietary protocols, we can quickly deploy OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) and local HUMINT (Human Intelligence), via our network of long-standing and highly capable sources and there is little information in these jurisdictions which we are unable to uncover, including:

  • Subject whereabouts and movements.
  • Real estate & commercial property ownership.
  • Vehicle and vessel ownership.
  • Corporate affiliations and Ultimate Beneficial Ownership.
  • Source of wealth.

Having conducted extensive multi-jurisdictional and cross border complex investigations, we are experts at assisting with Asset Tracing and Recovery.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

At Matrix we understand the difference between intelligence and evidence required for use in a Court of Law and have extensive knowledge of the legal system, enforcement regimes and cultural practices within those jurisdictions most commonly associated with hidden assets.

Please contact us directly for more information regarding our capabilities and bespoke services in Cyprus, Russia and the former CIS countries.