By 12 pm, we were at our client’s place to prepare for the day of FOOT surveillance. I was exuberant as I really wanted to help our client and the secondary reason was because I was gaining more experience (I only did a few stakeouts during my part-timing days). However, I never expected it to become a 10-hour Urbanathlon of “I’m catching you”!
Foot Surveillance is one of many on-location methods we use to collect evidence to support a client’s case. It is the oldest method since Sherlock Holmes. What you watch in drama is really what we normally do, BUT, more exaggerated in real life as we have limited manpower resources unlike the authorities. We have to improvise and act swiftly at critical moments to ensure that we do not lose the target. Any additional manpower resources will depend on the case’s requirements and on our client’s budget.
“I’m catching you”? What are you catching, you may be wondering?
Our Subject was out with his female companion Sammi (see previous blog) and her infant playing GAMES for 10 HOURS!!! “UN-BE-LIE-VA-BLE! I so stunned like a vegetable” too. For that 10 whole hours I was on FOOT – with dedication…
For someone who has been driving for the past 13 years and pampered by Taxi, Grab and Uber, my knowledge on current MRT lines is without a doubt grossly lacking. My only saving grace is that I own a Ez-link card. I’m totally uncomfortable with the “People Mountain, People Sea” crowd during peak commuting hours. Coupled with my new-found height limitation, I literally JUMPed when I could not see my target (which my team members told me not to do it again, LOL). By 8 pm, this ex-Black-Widow-wannabe was already tired, sweaty, thirsty and she cannot find water in the MRT station.
It was 15 mins before 10pm, I sat down at a gap between 2 cars while my other 2 team members continue to complete the case. Mentally and physically exhausted, I heaved a sigh of relief, so glad this Urbanathlon is over.
“Do you have a tissue?” I asked.
“I don’t have. Next time bring your own towel. You are lucky, you got a team and we never “tekan” you. In the past, we do cases alone and “tio tekan”.” my senior PI said to me.
I was indeed lucky, I don’t think it’s possible for me to complete this ALONE, even 2-man operation seems tight to cover all likely permutations. We need a team to cover and support one another, it also makes perfect monetary sense for our clients as we ensure that objectives are completed within the shortest time.
(With positivity) Thanks to Sammi and Subject, I went through a practical MRT 101 crash course – interchanges, platforms, location of lifts, north east and circle lines (My first time taking it, hahahaha).
As we are cooling down after a hard day’s job (it’s adrenaline-filled, at least for me), I saw our client returning home from a distance. She appeared dejected and lost, looking down on the floor while waiting for the lift to arrive. Emotions filled me again. Most married couples will be planning how to spend their remaining golden years enjoying life with their partners, but not for her. She has decided to change her route and I sincerely pray that God will find a way for her.
* Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of Ranger Investigation and/ or clients.
Yesterday was a day of getting to know the other colleagues, our technology & data sourcing methods and actual practice on foot surveillance. I switched to flats and now I can go on foot very comfortably; just that my vision has limitation now – height limitation, LOL, I’m 5 cm shorter. I’m attached to my senior, he too left a big government-linked company to join this industry full time.
The third day, I was introduced to the importance of maintaining the chain of the custody of evidence and report writing for matrimonial and legal cases. We need to be meticulous and accurate when it comes to report writing as the report can be submitted to the court.
As I was in the midst of attempting my sample report based on my previous day’s foot surveillance, my boss opened the door and told me: “Let’s leave now, we are meeting a client.” I was like WOW, ok, this moment resembles the scene in movies. Hahahaha
We met the client in a shopping mall. As a newbie, I was there to observe. She came with her younger sister. The client is in her mid-fifties and has been married for more than 10 years. She has recently left her job. She first came to suspect her husband’s infidelity from a close friend but there was no solid proof. Subsequently some acquaintances even recounted seeing her husband with another woman (I shall name her Sammi for easy reference) together with an infant. During an unexpected early return back home last week, the client confirmed her worst thoughts when she saw the infant at home with her husband. When confronted, her husband admitted the infant is his.
As she explained further, I was astounded by the details of her story. I was trying to make sense out of it and my mind was filled with: “What’s happening to our society, what’s wrong with this man, is he crazy or what?” Seriously!!! This is like one of those scripted Jerry Springer’s episodes and I actually encountered one today. The detail that flabbergasted me was that Sammi is a married woman, and the father could be the client’s husband!
In Singapore, marriages are monogamous and matrimonial proceedings are governed by the Women’s Charter (with the exception of Muslim marriages). Although there are no official sources, adultery is generally considered as a social taboo and it’s not morally or socially acceptable, regardless of reasons. The Singapore Family Justice Courts which deals with family-related issues may order the adulteress or adulterer to pay for the costs of divorce and PI services.
Adultery between 2 married parties would be in my opinion, worse than, committing “normal” adultery. But a married man fathering a child with another married woman! What is going on in the minds of these people? Have both of them as biological parents ever spared a thought for their child?
I could relate the helplessness and sadness of my client, in fact, at a certain point, while discussing about the next course of action, I looked straight into her eyes and asked her: “What is your hesitation, may I know?” I could see her tired red eyes welling up with tears and I held back my emotions. She is not hesitating, she is emotionally drained and overwhelmed with the recent events that turned her life upside down. However, she is certain that divorce is the route that she wants to take. Her sister was there to facilitate and assisted in providing the necessary background information so that we can achieve the objective within the shortest time. She left shortly after, and I looked at my boss. “You will have to find evidence to support her case, everything you heard just now is not supported by evidence. Now you have to think how to help her”, he said to me.
I want to help her, I want to help bring closure to this chapter of hers, I want to help her in moving on with her life, and this is the reason why I decided to join this profession: to help women like her who needs help to get out of their current predicament, women who want to fight for their dignity. We are the resources that she can use and she is not alone. She has the Ranger Team to help her.
Once upon a time, we were all our parent’s precious little princesses with
dreams of happily ever after…
Will you vow to live together in the legal estate of matrimony?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health and
forsaking all others, be faithful to her, so long as you both shall live?
* Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer and/ or clients.