Having the capability to follow somebody, over a short or long period of time can really gather useful intelligence and evidence. Meetings and conversations that can highlight who is involved, where the evidence is how you can be in a position to use that to mount a prosecution, dismiss an employee, take civil recoveries for the financial loss…….. But first and foremost you need that information. How you can get it and where you can get it from.
6 PM on a Tuesday evening and the Fraud Lawyer phones giving us information that the individual that they are trying to prosecute in relation to fraud, bribery and corruption is coming back into the UK from Europe the following day and they know that there will be a meeting with the individual and his Solicitor in London at the office.
This individual nips in and out of the UK on an ad hoc basis and this is the first time that they’ve actually got information of where he will be at a specific time. They think he’s stopping in hotels, but may have a residence or maybe stopping with associates involved in the investigation that the Solicitor is building with his client. The Surveillance team is needed in London city centre at 11 AM the following day. The instructions are simple “pick up the subject and follow him wherever he goes and get evidence of whoever he meets and try and get information about what they are talking about”.
And of course the television makes it seem really easy to do. Have you ever stopped and to consider the difficulties following somebody in London.? Doubtful he will have a car so he will be using the tube and what about if they hail a taxi jump into the taxi, the taxi goes down the bus routes and the taxi routes so how you can follow? You don’t have to worry about it all you need to do is instruct us gather the evidence.
11 AM in the City of London and the team are waiting outside the subjects Solicitors office with a description and photograph. The team have motorbikes, a London black cab surveillance taxi and a car.
The subject is seen to leave the Solicitor’s office and hail a taxi. He jumps into the taxi which drives across London to the Knightsbridge area where the subject gets out of the taxi carrying nothing more than a laptop bag and a briefcase, goes up to a high value five-storey mews residence and using the key enters the building. The surveillance is maintained on the flat later and that evening a further taxi arrives at the address and two males leave the taxi and are let into the house by the individual. They remain in there for a while and who knows what goes on behind the closed doors but they do leave and they walk to a nearby chic restaurant. The surveillance team follow and 2 surveillance officers go into the restaurant and sit on a nearby table to the group of men.
The conversation is varied and covers off all sorts of topics but there is sufficient that is spoken about that links the three men together in what would clearly be a conspiracy to defraud, talking about how the assets were disposed and can they be traced, talking about whether known contractors will keep “their mouth shut “and clearly for them they all say that” they are too old for prison.”