Friday, December 23, 2011

Significant quakes hit Christchurch

Christchurch has been hit by several significant quakes, measuring up to 6.0, on Friday 23 December with a number of lesser aftershocks continuing to be felt throughout the area. No fatalities have been reported and while power to a number of houses in the eastern suburbs was lost, services remain mostly unaffected.

Call us on 0800 366 989 if you have any URGENT requirements.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Corporate Counter-Espionage

One area of particular interest to us at Cabal Investigations is that of Corporate or Industrial Espionage inside New Zealand. While, at face value, it seems unlikely that businesses here are at risk, the reality is significantly at odds with this perception.

If your company possesses proprietary information (such as sensitive financial data, specific trade processes, research reports, and various intellectual property etc) that is not in the public domain, then there is a very real risk to you.

Cabal Investigations has recently become involved with several  local SMEs who had become victim of Corporate Espionage. The financial loss to each business, while difficult to quantify, probably ran to the millions of dollars.

In the case of Company A, a highly trusted manager had, over the course of several months, been copying sensitive documents which he provided to a local competitor. This had an immediate effect on national sales as the competitor had access to client lists, pricing information, tender applications, and cost of manufacturing.

In Company B, an employee stole their entire client database which was provided to a new startup company (headed by a relative of the employee), allowing the start-up to directly approach Company B's current clients.

We believe that Corporate Espionage is a widely misunderstood and generally under-reported phenomenon in New Zealand and seek to provide specific Counter-Espionage Services including;

  • Vulnerability Assessment / Threat Identification
  • Covert Physical and Technical Surveillance operations
  • Forensic data examination & analysis
  • Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (ie 'debugging')
  • Counter-surveillance operations
  • Anti-surveillance training
We are able to provide these services throughout New Zealand (and to NZ businesses abroad).

If you have any concerns, contact us on 0800 366 989.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas & New Year's Holiday Hours 2011/2012

Hello Everyone,

Cabal Investigations will be closed Friday 23 December to Tuesday 27 December (inclusive) then again from Saturday 31 December to Tuesday 03 January (inclusive).

We will be working reduced hours from Wednesday 04 January to Friday 13 January as many businesses and services will also be closed (ie solicitors etc).

However, if your matter is URGENT, we can always be reached on 0800 366 989.

We hope you all have a pleasant and safe break over the holiday season.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guide to prospective Clients

Given that many prospective clients ask us the same questions, we thought it might be useful to provide a short guide to cover some issues frequently raised.

I'm certain the same will be true with most other investigation agencies.

1. Be realistic in your expectations.

We are bemused by the frequent requests from prospective clients who either wish us to break the law, or think we can achieve the miraculous without the necessary information or resources required to accomplish the task. Also, directly related to this;

2. Be realistic in your budget.

Investigations are generally laborious and time-consuming activities. While we endeavour to provide a cost-effective service to our clients, nothing is as counter-productive than not setting a realistic budget to achieve desired results. See our FAQ for some guides on pricing.  

3. Be honest with us.

We are working with your interests in mind. If you are not entirely honest with us and fail to disclose some crucial information pertinent to your case, not only do you run the risk of compromising the investigation but also we are likely to terminate our investigation on your behalf entirely. We don't take kindly to being lied to by our clients. What you tell us will remain private and will not be disclosed.

4. Don't interfere.  

Once you hire us, don't jeapordise or complicate our investigation further by taking part in person, or by proxy. If we need further information from you, we will ask. Don't drive past the subject's house at night, conduct surveillance yourself or get friends to follow them around!

5. Remember, we're investigators, not counsellors.

While we can empathise with your situation, our role is essentially that of a neutral party with no vested interest in any particular outcome. Our task is to obtain the facts and sometimes that information may not necessarily provide you with the comfort or closure you seek.

With this in mind, if you have any questions or would like to discuss a matter in confidence, call us on 0800 366 989 or email us directly.

Police investigate fraud matter based on file submitted on behalf of Client

Some months ago, we were part of a complex investigation into the substantial and prolonged fraud from a family Trust and business. On behalf of our Client we submitted our investigation file to the Police who, after careful consideration, have decided there is a case to answer for and are now actively pursuing a criminal investigation into the matter.

This is welcome news as it demonstrates that our investigation was conducted in a manner that reflected our professionalism and integrity, and with a result that has withstood scrutiny.

We are pleased with this outcome.

Do you have concerns that you may be a victim of fraud?

Call us on 0800 366 989 to discuss your matter in confidence.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Have you been flirting online with this girl?

Well, in actual fact, you haven't.

'Sarah Ruddenklau' is actually one Cameron Stuart Hore, 27, of Belfast.

Hore was arrested last week and charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of people under 18, blackmail, obtaining by deception and travelling to meet a young person after sexual grooming from his online exploits where he contacted a number of young males through Facebook and MSN Messenger and showed them nude photographs of his bogus identity, Sarah.

Hore tried to persuade his male victims into exposing themselves and to conduct sex acts on webcam.

It is also alleged that Hore, under the alias Dan McPherson, befriended some of these victims online and offered between $1000 to $4000 in exchange for performing sexual acts on them and many passed on their details including bank accounts but no money was paid.

Read more about Hore here.

Hore awaits a bail application on November 22.

If you think you might be the victim of an online scam, call us on 0800 366 989. We may be able to assist.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lawyer commits fraud while victim of online scam

John David Rangitauira, 59, a senior Rotorua lawyer and Maori Trust chairman was found guilty of obtaining by deception after obtaining in excess of $840,000 in loans from Westpac and the Te Houoterangi Trust to help a client, Jennifer Taukamo, receive a $28.1m inheritance held by Central Bank in Burkina Faso.

Naturally, there was no inheritance and both Taukamo and Rangitauira were victims of a Nigerian 'advance fee' fraud. 

Read about it here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

More on online romance scammers

More alleged victims of Paul William Abbott have come forward. See article here.

60 Minutes Australia recently aired this story regarding Nigerian fraudsters running romance scams from Malaysia. Australians are losing AU$10 million per month to online fraud.

If you think you might be a victim of an online romance scam or internet fraud, call us on 0800 366 989.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Online romance scammer convicted


Paul William Abbott (28) has been convicted on three charges of obtaining by deception and one charge of unlawfully converting a vehicle from female victims met online. Abbott had met the four women on dating sites including NZ Dating.

You can read more about Abbot here.

Abbott will be sentenced at Christchurch Men's Prison next month.

This, and other recent cases, highlights the need for people to take some basic precautions when dealing with people recently met online.

As online dating is becoming more prevalent and commonplace, the trend abroad is that investigation services are increasingly in demand for vetting checks. In Australia, companies like DateScreen are well-placed to meet this demand.

Cabal Investigations has been utilised in previous enquiries verifying the personal details of individuals met online by clients, and we are considering offering a standardised set-fee service with several package options depending on the level of information sought.

If you are interested in further details regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 366 989 or email us directly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Initial consultations

We have decided to make some important changes the way we conduct our initial consultations regarding our investigative services, commencing 01 November 2011.

We are happy to discuss your prospective case initially by phone or email at no cost. 

Once it is apparant whether or not our services are appropriate to your needs, the next stage is a consultation with you, in person, where your case will be discussed in greater detail outlining your specific requirements, our costs and service delivery. Initial consultations are $250.00 (inc. GST) irrespective of whether you engage our services, or not, and is payable at time of consultation (cash or personal cheque accepted).

This consultation fee only applies to investigations enquiries and NOT set-fee services such as document service. You will be informed, in advance, where it does apply.

We have considered this measure for some time, in part to counter the number of frivolous enquiries we receive as well as in recognition of the fact that our increasingly busy schedule means we have less time to waste on non-productive matters.

If you have any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An offer you can't refuse...

We know that things are a little tight right now, six months after the February quakes. Christchurch is slowly pulling itself together but many individuals and businesses are feeling the pressure, financially.

There has been a noticeable decline in new cases from Christchurch clients. We attribute this to a degree of financial uncertainty and, in the face of long waits for insurance payouts, a general lack of disposable income. Hiring a private investigator may be seen as a 'luxury' whose cost is difficult to justify.

To help encourage potential Christchurch (and Canterbury) clients, on whose business we also rely, Cabal Investigations will reduce our investigative rates* by 20%, effective from Friday 09 September to Saturday 08 October 2011.

There is no catch or gimmick. You just have to be a Christchurch- or Canterbury-based client and mention that you saw this offer on our website, Twitter, or our Facebook page.

There's no time like the present, call us on 0800 366 989 today to discuss your case in confidence, or email us instead.

* Investigative Rates refer to our standard hourly rates for investigations and surveillance and not set fees such as for document service.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New licence issued

We are pleased to announce that Cabal Investigations has finally had a licence under the new Private Security Personnel Licencing Authority (number 11-000076) issued with the following classes:

  • PI - Private Investigator
  • SC - Security Consultant
  • PSG - Personal Guard
  • PRG - Property Guard
  • CDDA - Confidential Document Destruction Agent
  • CC - Crowd Controller




Friday, August 12, 2011

Online romance scams score biggest losses

Over the past year, online 'romance' scammers, phishing attacks, and advance fee fraud accounted for over half of $750,000.00 lost in online incidents reported to NetSafe.

Do you know who you are talking to online?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Expansion

Cabal Investigations is pleased to announce we are able to directly offer services in  
          > Christchurch
          > Nelson
          > Auckland
And (soon) Wellington as well as the regions surounding those corresponding cities.

We are also able to provide services NZ-wide as well as internationally, through service partners or other reputable agencies.

All enquiries to 0800 366 989.

The Perils of Online Dating

Ten or more years ago, you might have held the opinion that there was something inherently wrong with the concept of online dating. Perhaps there was a stigma attached as that's not how people were supposed to meet? Now, however, in an increasingly busy world, it is big business and even rather commonplace for relationships to start from online beginnings. There are many sites offering services to New Zealand singles (and not-singles); two of the most popular would be NZDating (317,843 members) and Findsomeone (332,990 members).

While that may come as good news to those looking for Mr or Ms Right online, there is also a darker side.

Glimpses of the more extreme have been seen over the past few years on the news. Most recently, Natalia Burgess has become a household name for her online predation of young boys through fake facebook profiles, but she also was a member of at least one popular dating site.  

Then there is Dean Mulligan, guilty of bludgeoning to death Marice McGregor whom he had met on a dating site. Mulligan was married.

Or Glenn Mills the prolific, equal-opportunities, internet lothario who infected at least 7 people (6 male, 1 female) with HIV.

While these are extreme cases, you have no doubt heard 'horror stories' from friends where the person they eventually met was certainly not one they had been emailed photos of, or who turned out to be married, or who stole from them, or who were just scam-artists of various ilk.

If you are involved in, or contemplating, an relationship with someone online, Cabal Investigations can assist, New Zealand-wide.

We can verify:

  • identity
  • marital/relationship status
  • employment
  • financial status
  • other factors of risk
Call us on 0800 366 989 to discuss your matter in confidence or email us directly and we will contact you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Phone outage fixed

Hello everyone,

We have managed to sort out a temporary solution to our phone issues and we should be  contactable through our normal 0800 number and landline again.

However, if we are difficult to get hold of, you can always try calling us directly on our RT: 020 210 0346 (+64 20 210 0346) although some networks may not recognise this number as it is part of the KorKor digital radio network, not a phone service.

Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Change of business hours

Hello,

Due to the ongoing issues arising from the Christchurch earthquakes, we have amended our hours of operations to generally exclude cross-city travel between 1530-1800hrs. This, in part, is because of the volume of traffic on the streets at those times due to road closures and detours.

We hope that you understand that we don't want to unnecessarily charge you for 1.5 hours travel when a trip outside this peak traffic time should only take 20 minutes or so.

We say 'generally' as we make exceptions in some instances or if the client accepts the additional charges.

If you have any queries, please contact us on 0800 366 989.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Communications Upgrade

We are pleased to announce that we have upgraded our comms to the digital KorKor network with the Motorola MTP850 handheld radios.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13 quakes update

Hello Everyone,

As you may be aware, Christchurch has again been rocked with several quakes of magnitudes 5.5 and 6.0 today.This has further damaged buildings and infrastructure and may once again adversely affect travel and movement within the city.

Preliminary reports suggest that a number of major roads have been closed and that traffic is at a virtual standstill as people attempt to leave the central city.

Phone lines are also heavily in use and making calls can be difficult due to congestion.

Please be aware that while we remain operational, there may be some further delays due to factors beyond our control. Further news regarding damage etc can be found here.

Call us on 0800 366 989 if you have any queries.

Regards,

Cabal Investigations

Friday, May 20, 2011

Surveillance Code of Conduct

As previously stated, the new Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010 which came into effect on 01 April now allows for Private Investigators to photograph or video subjects of surveillance, in accordance with a Code of Conduct

In essence, this Code of Conduct does not allow for surveillance devices to be used if the subject is in a private dwelling (unless every lawful occupier has consented). However, if in or on private property, there is no restriction as long as the subject is visible without the aid of any device (including binoculars). 


In practical terms, this means that if the subject is inside their (or someone else's) residence, the use of surveillance equipment is generally not permissable. However, once outside the dwelling - even if still on private property - as long as they are clearly visible to the surveillance operator, surveillance equipment including cameras, may be employed.



Friday, April 1, 2011

A New Era

As of today, 01 April, there are several changes of some significance:

The long awaited change in legislation governing private investigators comes into effect. We are no longer prohibited from taking or using photographs or video (with some exceptions). 

Secondly, due to serious ongoing issues arising from the 22 Feb earthquake, we have moved from a Limited Liability Company structure to a Sole Trader arrangement. We are trading as 'Cabal Investigations' and the only difference will be that existing clients will need to our update bank account and GST number. All services will continue as before.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Limited Emergency Services Resume

From mid-afternoon Monday 28 February, Cabal Investigations will be operating as best we can, offering limited services in the interim.

Please note that our offices sustained substantial damage in the 22 February earthquake as we were located in the CBD. We currently have access to very limited resources and do not know when this is likely to change.

We have NO access to any files, either electronic or physical, we were working on prior to the quake.

It is anticipated that it may be several months before we will be allowed back into our offices to retrieve equipment and files, if at all. However, we may have a better idea as to this next week as we understand building owners may be allowed back in the CBD then.

Our phone lines are currently diverting to mobile and we are able to send and receive email.

The services we are most likely to be able to offer out of town clients is performing welfare checks on family and friends, or assisting individuals or families leaving Christchurch.

For all enquiries, please contact us on:

0800 366 989 (within New Zealand)

or

+64 3 366 6987 (International).

Our fax line has changed to a virtual one: 03 929 0085 or +64 3 929 0085 (Int.)

As mail is being redirected our postal address remains:

PO Box 22-501
High Street
CHRISTCHURCH 8142
If you require an address for courier deliveries, please contact us directly.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All services suspended due to latest quake

Our offices are closed until further notice. We may not be contactable by phone for several days.

We will update you as soon as we can.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Closed for business 24 - 28 February

Hello,

We will be closed for business between Thursday 24 February to Monday 28 February (inclusive) to attend an out-of-town function. We will not be responding to emails or phone calls until our return on Tuesday 01 March.

If you have a matter that needs to be addressed during that period, please let us know ASAP and we will make alternate arrangements.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Phone outage fixed

We apologise to anyone having difficulty in contacting us recently. Our landlines are currently diverting to a mobile but we were unaware that this mobile had died sometime over the weekend. We have a new mobile and are now receiving calls.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Accountant skimmed $70k off wine firm

ROELAND VAN DEN BERGH 

An accountant and former police officer stole nearly $70,000 from his employer, Marlborough-based Mud House Wines, an industry disciplinary tribunal has heard.

Lawrence Peter Ford was referred to the Institute of Chartered Accountants disciplinary tribunal after pleading guilty in the District Court at Christchurch last June on 15 counts of dishonesty to obtain $69,931.

He was sentenced to six months community detention, 400 hours community work and ordered to pay reparation of all the money stolen to Mud House Wines.

Mud House Wines has vineyards in Marlborough, North Canterbury and Central Otago.

Rest at Business Day on Stuff

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cabal on the move

We are sad to report that we are now looking for suitable premises to move into as Kenton Chambers will be out of action for quite some time and remains red stickered.

If anyone knows of suitable office space in Christchurch for 5, please let us know ASAP. Call us on 0800 366 989.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chattel & Asset Trace, Seizure/Recovery

Cabal Investigations are pleased to announce a new service for business clients: locating and seizure of high-risk chattels and assets.

Specifically, but not exclusively, aimed towards recovery of such goods as aircraft, heavy vehicles, stock & plant, or industrial and farm machinery.

If you have any enquiries regarding this specialised service, please contact us directly on 0800 366 989.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cabal Investigations on Facebook

As much as we dislike Facebook (for a myriad of reasons), it still may have some uses.

If you know us, or have used our services, please 'like' our page. Once we reach a certain number of likes, our page can be stand-alone.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Post-quake Update

Kenton Chambers still officially remains red-stickered awaiting meeting between owner's and Council's engineers. Decision to allow access to building expected shortly.

However, glaziers are in the building replacing windows and preliminary assessment regarding repairs of superficial damage made.

We have set up a temporary operations room until office is cleared up and other damage repaired.