Hi, I’m Liora, a newbie female PI. I’m one of the few licensed and practicing female private investigators in Singapore, and one that also made a huge change to her life – I left my comfortable paying job in an MNC to join this profession full time. As I’m into my third month of private investigation, I guess it’s appropriate that I give my 5 cents worth on what Private Investigation is and the real challenges of being a private investigator.
Common Comments: You very free hor, just sit, look and then can earn money.
It’s referring to stake-out or static surveillance, simply put in layman terms – waiting for our subject to appear or waiting for something to happen.
Yes, it might seem we are very “ENG” at times. In reality, while we are waiting long hours (rain or shine), we are actually anticipating all possible permutations that can happen and how to execute sound decisions immediately in response, given the situation and environment. If Mahjong is good training for alertness, try being a Private Investigator. Trust me, not only your brain, all the 21 senses including your gut feel will be activated and required. If we are meeting the subject for the first time, we need to possess the powers of “Bionic” eyes in identifying them.
More often than not, while waiting, we do not have the luxury of air-conditioning, eating in peace and toilets. I actually gobbled down my packet of food standing under a tree on a hot, sunny “31 Degrees’ Celsius” day in 5 mins and drove 3 mins just to get to a toilet. To add to that, I was also frequently donating blood to the ever-hungry mosquitoes. Even the “Summon” aunty has an easier job than me, she can leave after hitting her daily targets. I have to continue hitting the mosquitoes till my subject makes the next move or our client call it a day.
Common Comments: Are you an ex-police?
Only police can catch thief, however, you do not need an ex-police officer to be able to collect evidence and present facts. With the advancement of technology, digitalisation and knowledge landscape, requirements and skill-sets of a professional private investigator have also evolved. As a matter of fact, most of our private investigators are not from the Singapore Police Force, yet we are able to complete out tasks efficiently. Natural Wit, Grit, stamina, righteousness and a passion to help people are the important intrinsic characteristics that are essential of a Ranger private investigator.
Why do I say so? You may ask.
Most of the time, we do not have conducive work environment, normal working hours, public holidays or normal meal times. We work ANYWHERE, on call 24-7, RAIN or SHINE and sometimes we only know where we are heading at the eleventh hour.
This is not all! Private investigators also need to be Camera man; Film Editor; Report Writer; Data Analyst; Investigative Researcher, Human Street Directory; Skilful Driver/Rider; Master of Disguise, Listening Ear and the list goes on.
So if you do not have the above intrinsic characteristics, tell me who in the right mind that possesses such diverse skill-sets would want to be in this profession? It is the satisfaction we derive from helping our clients that sustains us.
Common Comments: Why do you need to work in a team, aiya 1 person enough liao.
Unless you tell me my subject is someone that is permanently on a wheelchair, otherwise I do not think that its sufficient.
“My partner is very smart, very careful, cunning, F1 driver, Judo black belt, so on and so forth.” Most clients will tell us.
As the saying goes “三个臭皮匠胜过一个诸葛亮”, two heads are better than one. With teamwork, the probability of remaining covert increases and losing the subject decreases. Remaining covert is in fact the top 2 priorities for every mission as it’s our duty to protect our clients. In addition, with more people observing the subject, we are able to predict the next move faster.
I hope the above will provide clarity on what we do as Ranger Investigators.
* Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer – Ranger Investigation and/or clients.
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.
“Why don’t you journal about your first week as a PI, your perspectives are very interesting? Monday! Let me read it on Monday.”
So here I am, listening to Spotify, drinking Shiraz and putting on a relaxing mask to pamper my sun-beaten face imagining I’m Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) or Sumiko Tan (The Straits Times) to complete the task that my new boss has assigned during de-briefing and I hope you will be drawn to my perspectives about life.
Hi, I’m Liora, a newbie female Private Investigator. Yes, I’m one of the very few licensed female PI in Singapore, and perhaps the only one that made a drastic change to her life – I left my comfortable paying job in an MNC to join this profession FULL TIME.
Every day, yes, every day for the past 5 days was eye-opening for me. In fact to chronologically recall my week now seems like a difficult task as I was constantly exposed to a totally different side of Singapore every day. Forget about the normal orientation that most employees are given on their first week of work, mine was real cases.
I was tasked to do two reality checks on my first day of work. Both are checking on their partners before committing further into their relationships.
Shocked? Don’t be! We have clients that are willing to pay a sum to do reality checks. In fact, the demand for this service is increasing. Clients of such, often have reservations about their partners and yet they are unable to pin-point the exact cause of their uncertainties hence they engage our services to have clarity.
I know what you are thinking, nope, they are not the rich, high profile people that you see in dramas. They are normal people like you and me, who are willing to invest on finding a suitable partner to complete their life. Good or Bad? We won’t know until we investigate. The bottom line is we are engaged to help our clients make a better life decision.
Before the end of my first day, I was already standing for an hour in a famous Chinatown building conducting a surveillance on a female subject that we have only a photo of. I was tasked to ascertain her as our subject. I was indeed overwhelmed by the number of different things I have to do at the same time- running down to catch up with her, pretending to have a meal beside her naturally, starting a conversation to have a closer look to find similarities with the given photo and coupled by the anxiety to confirm her identity (my whole team was waiting for me). I couldn’t confirm her identity for a real reason, she looks different from the photo given. For operation purpose, we split up to ensure all clues and grounds are covered, and indeed, she was eventually identified to be our subject.
By 6 pm, I was mentally and physically tired. Body hugging clothes and heels of Black Widow are made possible… by the Avengers, in real life, its sore feet and attracting unnecessary stares from undesirable men who assumes you are one of the sex service providers standing there.
During my drive home, I was thinking a lot about the subjects that I encountered today. Are we too consumed in presenting the ideal and perfect us, that we forgot about who we really are? Do not get me wrong, I think it’s perfectly fine to have minor enhancements to present the better side of us, I do buy nice clothes and put on make-up to be presentable and of course, it makes me more confident! I do use MEITU (IMHO it is the best photo app invention, although, I experienced the flip side of it now). Presenting a better side of you is not creating a different you, you are still you, just showing a better side of you. The subjects that I’m writing about is presenting a DIFFERENT them beyond looks, and likely, their perceived PERFECT SELF to their partners in order to obtain whatever emotional or material needs and wants.
Have more people unknowingly gone beyond the limits of presenting A BETTER ME to creating “A PERFECT SELF”? Well, that could be one of the reasons since demand for reality checks has increased. This is the danger zone as they became more engrossed in creating more sophisticated layers of pretence which eventually lead them into living a double life. But then again, I asked myself how do I know which is the “real” them, perhaps they are showing their real self to our clients? As a PI, I can only present what we have found and not judge on it. Ultimately, everyone, including my clients, are entitled to have true happiness in their relationships and a suitable half to complete their life. For me, I gave up the idea of being the perfect real-life Agent Black Widow and decided to be comfortable in flats.
* Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer – Ranger Investigation and/or clients.
Evidence collected by private investigators need to be relevant, obtained legally and unadulterated.
There are 2 categories of evidence: Direct and Indirect. Direct evidence proves a fact without any presumptions or inferences and can either be direct testimony of a witness, item or document.
Indirect evidence (also known as circumstantial evidence), in the absence of direct evidence, proves a fact by inference from circumstances using reasoning and experience. Such evidence can be in the form of fingerprints, surveillance videos, audio recordings, etc.
Employee moonlighting is an unhealthy practice that takes place in many organisations. On the surface, it is condoned by many “as long as it does not affect performance”. In reality it is inevitable that performance will be affected as the employee are usually distracted, sometimes sleep deprived as well. In more sinister cases, loyalty to the organisation is compromised and confidential information, trade secrets or sales revenue lost.
Signs your employee may be moonlighting:
Ranger Investigation has assisted many employers to uncover and obtain evidence of moonlighting employees. Stop these unfair practices in your organisation! Contact us today at +65 9698 8142
Many Clients go through a phase where they will deliberate with themselves or a close confidante whether they should hire a private investigator (PI). Some spend long agonising hours thinking, moving back and forth, taking sides and end up losing sleep, feeling nauseous or not eating well.
My advice: do NOT let yourself go through this. This kind of stress destroys you. A decision needs to be made, and move on to the next step from there.
One should be mentally prepared to handle the truth, prior to obtaining it. If you are not prepared for the truth, which can be so very cruel at times, do not attempt to seek it. For once you know it, you cannot un-know it. It is best to be mentally prepared for the worst possible outcome or the truth can consume you.
Remember: Finding out what is really happening is usually not difficult; it is the handling and management of the truth that is challenging.
In the event you have decide to seek the truth, let Ranger Investigation assist or help you. We can work out a solution to suit your specific requirements.
An often-asked question with regard to our Private Investigation services is: “What is your success rate?”
Sometimes success in our line of work has a different definition with our Client. We have come across Clients who expect to hear 100% (or somewhere in the region) success in getting the evidence that they require. Usually in response, we align our Client with our definition of success instead of the other way around.
Our definition of success is measured by the ability to obtain the evidence when the Act of Interest takes place while remaining covert. Contrary to what some may think, our success is not defined by whether we are able to produce the particular type of evidence that the client have in mind. After all, whether or not our target commits the Act of Interest is beyond our control.
A job well done is one where we obtain all the necessary evidence as it takes place, leave the scene and the target(s) is not aware that we were even there at all.
In Singapore, the Private Security Industry Act covers the work performed by the private investigation industry. Private investigation agencies are issued licenses by the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department (PLRD) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to operate and every private investigator need to be screened and trained before they can work as one.
At Ranger Investigation, you can find the contact number listed on our website https://www.ranger-security.com.sg/. Dial the number +65 9698 8142 to reach our representative. Usually a meeting is then arranged at our office or at your place of convenience for a discussion to understand your concerns in detail. On the spot, a solution comprising of method and price will be proposed and you can decide if it meets your requirements. Upon mutual agreement, a contract will be signed and operations will begin as planned.
The meeting is not chargeable and all matters discussed are kept in strict confidence, regardless of whether you decide to procure our services or not.
You are welcome to enquire about our services at anytime of the day, even if it is late at night.
Our business is to help people.
Contrary to what some may believe, private investigation work actually aims to help people. Many clients who come to seek the advice and support of a private investigator (PI) have usually made their own attempts to obtain the truth and failed, or are too afraid to try for fear of repercussions. Some even feel guilty coming to a private investigator to check on their loved ones. Others simply want someone else to do the work instead of themselves.
As private investigators, we lend a listening ear, empathize, advise and sometimes, we even counsel. We come up with suggestions and proposals to alleviate the client’s pain and lift the burden off their shoulders, Sometimes there is no perfect or obvious solution, but usually there will be several options that we can explore to move towards a resolution.
In many cases, the PI-client relationship bonds very quickly and a long-lasting trust bridges the two parties. Some even become BFFs (best friends forever)! True to the saying: “It is better to have a close neighbour than a distant relative”.
At the end of the day, our services aim to put our client’s heart at ease, to take over the “monkeys” sitting on their shoulders so that our clients can find their peace of mind.