Why businesses require spies
If you learnt anything from the 2021 looting and violent uprisings, it was more than likely that the South African government has no credible intelligence system in place.
The undeniable truth is that every person (including you) who wants to stay informed and on top of potentially costly or dangerous situations requires a consistent inflow of information (intelligence).
A company is no different to government. In that context you or your management team are no different to the head of state when it comes to mitigating risk and handling criminal activities. Both are reliant on sources, also known as Undercover agents or in government talk “spooks”.
Your business is not able to initiate any investigation without accurate undercover intelligence. This intelligence is what guides your investigation. It is the information that keeps your HR and investigations on the right track.
In the event of “passive” intelligence, it is what provides you and your management team with information that speaks to policy controls and whether they are abided by. Alternatively, passive information provides your loss control team and security manager with information to adjust or explore certain strategies, based on undercover intelligence.
Our undercover investigation services provide you with three categories of intelligence:
1. Strategic loss control intelligence
In this scenario, our undercover operatives are deployed to gather discreet intelligence on criminal behaviour in the workplace. This information puts you firmly in the driving seat when it comes to understanding the various theft or criminal actions employees are involved in.
It is from this intelligence that any investigations that are needed can be launched.
Whether it’s our investigators or yours, the information obtained from this category of intelligence is paramount to the overall style and modus operandi of the required investigation.
2. Business operations intelligence
The information obtained from the deployed undercover agents covers the various compartments and their efficiency within the business machine. Our investigators report on productivity, efficiency and adherence to the company’s existing policies and procedures, providing you with accurate information to correct behaviour or take disciplinary action where needed.
This category of intelligence also seeks to uncover Labour related issues that could negatively impact your business and business reputation.
Undercover agents are a hugely instrumental portal of information when it comes to union activities and employee plots against the company. This is intelligence that every company desperately needs to know about.
3. Specific intelligence operations
Normally, these undercover deployments are brought in to focus on one specific area of concern, or as is often the case, on one particular group of people.
These intelligence gathering projects have the objective of identifying, obtaining, and producing evidence to achieve a predetermined end result.
Undercover Investigation Process
“Successful deployment of well trained and experienced undercover agents is the single most effective company security tactic.”
Simply put, our undercover investigation services will allow you to glean information not generally available to you. Grassroots information would normally remain at grassroots level, yet is vital to you and us. Undercover investigation services or deployment allows you to tap into this hugely valuable pool of information.
Our undercover investigators are also available to secure information related to matters that might require further dedicated investigation techniques. We often find that our clients have a suspicion about something or are uncomfortable with an individual but are not sure how to handle the situation. Undercover investigation services can determine if the concerns are valid.
Undercover investigators should not only be seen as useful for theft or loss investigations but, rather, as “deployed auditors”. Undercover investigation services are an internationally used technique to identify weaknesses in company policies and operating procedures. If these policies are not “audited” using our undercover investigation services, chances are that you may not ever know where the real issues lie.
UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION LIFE CYCLE CHART
When last did you get reliable insight into exactly what your security guards are up to? From this proactive approach towards ultimate loss control, it is plain to see just how important the presence of a professional undercover investigator is. Our undercover investigation services are introduced into our clients’ workforce. Investigators are deployed as everyday workers or contractors, as would be the case for clients’ routine recruiting procedure. Within a short space of time, our investigator would have integrated him/herself amongst the rest of the employees.
Whilst the undercover investigation services are in progress, information is passed on to the client directly from the offices of D&K Management Consultants. This happens on a weekly basis. These weekly reports enable us to formulate graphs that will clearly show trends and patterns of the various associated risks.
Example of our graphs supplied to clients over three months highlighting risk incidents:
A business without undercover investigators (moles) is like a business without auditors.
Three of the biggest threats facing companies in South Africa today are:
- Employees stealing from or defrauding your business.
- Labour Unrest or union enforced strikes.
- Moonlighting employees.
Your company focuses on disrupting the opposition and delivering the results your clients expect. As a result of this, dedication to the day-to-day running of your company, losses, and many other dishonest or risk related occurrences may be going unnoticed.
The reason why undercover investigators deployed into the workplace are such an integral part of a company’s overall loss control and risk management portfolio is very obvious. You will always have the need to know what is going on at ground level: Who is behind it, how, and where is it taking place?
Undercover investigators are the solution to your many questions. They are trained, skilful operatives who are deployed to infiltrate and extract information and intelligence not shared or known about by management.
With over 137 undercover investigators deployed across South Africa, we are by far the country’s leading provider of business undercover investigations. The benefit to our clients, clients just like yourself, are numerous and include:
- Infiltration of theft syndicates or gangs
- Infiltration of “closed” union meetings and timeous feedback of intelligence
- Tip-offs involving dangerous behaviour, criminal activity, and poor work ethic
- Daily feedback on drivers’ behaviour, use of vehicles and all reputational damaging incidents
- Theft from trucks
- Theft or pilferage from warehouses or storerooms
- Actions of bribery or corrupt practices
- Collusion between security officers and employees
- Tip-offs on looming strikes or labour unrest
- Procedural breaches
- Breakdown of policies
- Information pertaining to plans of criminal acts
- Diesel theft
Whether your company has a security manager or not, information will always be “king” and, therefore, there can be little doubt that having well placed professional undercover investigators in your workforce or security team is truly a critical part of your management toolbox.
Who uses undercover investigators (moles)?
Although our clients come from every sector there are certainly those businesses that need and utilise undercover investigators more than others. With more than 30 years’ experience as SA’s leading provider of undercover investigators, our regular client groups are:
Mata Hari – first recognised female spy
- Logistics and transport companies
- Manufacturing sector
- Hospitality sector including both hotels and restaurants
- Industrial equipment suppliers and manufacturers
- Security companies
- Confectionery manufacturing and supply
- Chemical manufacturers
- Food manufacturers
- Online warehouse distribution centers
- Retail outlets
FAQ about undercover informants
If we have retrenched staff, can you still bring in an undercover informant?
Absolutely, we have several different covers we use to infiltrate our undercover investigators without raising suspicion.
How do we get our information from your undercover informants?
Each of our undercover investigators has his/her direct handler. This handler debriefs the informant and checks his/her reports, photographs and video recordings every week. All reports are confidentially emailed to a secure email address every seven days.
How does the undercover informant keep his cover?
Our undercover informants are deployed under a pre-determined cover story. They will fulfil the role of that cover post e.g., forklift driver. He/she is trained and experienced at operational level, and will never reveal their true identity to anyone.
Do undercover agents testify in court or CCMA?
No, undercover informants are always protected, and their role is never revealed. Their reports and information, however, are used to set up sting operations, change policies, and provide the backdrop for the apprehension of those involved in criminal or nefarious activities.
Who should know about the undercover investigators in our company?
It is imperative that only the most senior members of the team know about the presence of the undercover investigators. We work on an absolute policy of “need to know”, with as few people as possible knowing about the agent.
Will your undercover investigators attend union meetings?
Certainly, they will. In fact, one of their core functions is to report on labour related matters, and agitation.
Can I meet your undercover informants to guide them on our problems that we need clarity on?
We fully endorse the client meeting with our undercover investigators on a regular basis, off site. These meetings allow you the perfect opportunity to get answers and share ideas with the undercover informants first-hand.