Undercover operation (by private detectives) refers to the technique employed to gather information or evidence about a person or an entity by concealing one’s real identity and assuming a fake identity. The person carrying out such a role is commonly known as an undercover agent. Undercover operations, in many cases, have proved useful in obtaining results where other investigative instruments have failed.
Why is undercover operation important?
Undercover operations become essential under the following circumstances:
- To collect evidence, especially in cases where a crime is involved
- To find out if a criminal activity is taking place in a system
- To stop a crime from taking place and enable arrests and seizures of people planning a crime
- To plan better use of resources
- To verify the authenticity of information and details related to a criminal activity
- To collect evidence which can be produced in a court of law
Benefits of undercover operation in an organization
In today’s world of cut throat competition, companies and organizations are increasingly at a risk from internal and external forces. An undercover operation helps companies quickly discover all the external and internal forces working against it.
Most importantly, it enables companies to source vital information from its employees working at different levels and present it to the management who can then take steps to counter the problem.
Some important information which can be collected through an undercover operation includes selling of vital information like list of clients or vendors by an employee to competitors, incompetent and inefficient employees lacking sincerity and loyalty, and use of company’s resources, name or reputation for personal gains, to name a few.
Such threats are serious and can prove to be really dangerous for a company. Information of a secretive nature, shared by an employee with rivals or future employers can be used in the most dangerous way to bring a company down to its knees.
If an employee or a group of employees start engaging in illegal activity in the company or start misuse of company property, it can expose the business to legal liability or losses. Keeping the owners and the management informed about the state of affairs in the company is one of the most crucial benefits of undercover security.
City Intelligence, which is a leading detective agency in Delhi, with its extensive experience in conducting undercover operations, works closely with you, the client, to gather all details which may help you in your business and to ensure your company’s safety and security.
How is an undercover operation carried out?
In case of corporate houses, sometimes the client desires to have detailed information about a rival. Undercover operation, in such cases, helps in discovering and gathering information which may not be collected from conventional investigation. In such cases an undercover agent, with relevant and sufficient qualification, is required to join the target company as an employer in a sensitive position. Sometimes, placement agencies or head hunters are also brought in to arrange for such a placement. Once the undercover agent is placed in the company, he is required to gather all the required information.
So the undercover agent in such cases, is a dual employee, reporting on one hand to the detective agency to whom he reports the inside information and on the other hand, for the target client on whom he is spying. The job of personal secretary, driver, peon or security guard are some of the positions which can be filled with an undercover agent. The most important thing to be kept in mind while filling such a position is that it must provide access to the inside information of the organization in question. The agent performing such a job has to be not only trustworthy but also well informed. Such jobs, often, continue for very long periods extending to months and, sometimes, even years.
Risks involved in an undercover operation and precautions to be taken:
Undercover operations are fraught with risks and, therefore, require adequate precautionary measures.
- Every undercover operation must be preceded by proper surveillance. A well carried our surveillance helps in providing adequate protection to the undercover agent.
- Undercover operation must be well planned and well thought of so that the agent is not exposed to a risk.
- Adequate and proper training of the undercover executive is a must. The agent must be trained in language, accent, vocabulary, negotiation skills and modern and surveillance gadgets.
- Ideally, the executive must have an experience of at least 3 years as an investigator. While some detective agencies prefer to recruit newbies for the job, this practice is often, considered to be too risky. The dangers associated with recruiting a fresher for the job of an undercover agent far outweigh its benefits. An inexperienced or under qualified undercover agent being one of the biggest risks, should be avoided.
- The undercover agent should be in constant touch with his superiors in charge of the operation. He should be able to follow the instructions from his seniors and also communicate with them regularly. The mode of communication may vary from disguised personal meet to telephone conversation, email, fax or social media usage. Whatever be the mode of communication, the most important point to be remembered is that the method employed should be reasonably free of detection.
- An undercover operation involves big risks, especially to the executive working in such a position. One of the ways to avoid risk to the undercover executive is that the entire operational team should be alert for signals that something is not working out as planned or that the operation may not be a success.
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes).