When missing persons are a criminal matter

Most of the time National Person Finder is hired to find somebody who’s gone missing out of stress, breakdown or mental health issues. But sometimes we have to track down individuals who have gone missing as part of a wider criminal case. Interestingly, a new scam from the USA has arrived on the shores of the UK. It’s called ‘buddy punching’ and it’s a form of theft that can cost employers thousands of pounds.

At its simplest it involves one employee using the clock-in system to suggest their colleagues are working when they aren’t. Point Of Sale technology such as codes and id cards for tills and iPads can be used in a similar fashion to earn people hours of work when they haven’t actually been in at all that day. It’s a fraud that is increasingly prevalent. National Person Finder has recently completed a case where, by using undercover operatives both as customers and temporary employees, and obtaining video evidence, we were able to prove that a large fraud scheme was operating in a major warehouse, costing the business substantial profits. The scam is often perpetrated by groups of young people who live and work together and as a result are easily able to ‘earn’ their friends a few hours extra pay by logging in with their till code when making sales or by using their card-key to check in and out of the workplace. Hotels and warehouses are most at risk of this scam.

When missing persons abscond with a fortune

The Punjab National Bank has been forced to hire private detectives who specialise in tracking down fugitives. And the reason is that two of their high profile clients – Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi – ran off, leaving the back massively in debt. Bad loans of nearly £1.5 billion stayed behind, putting the PNB in a difficult position. The two runaways were diamond merchants, and they hobnobbed with Prime Ministers and Bollywood stars, as can be seen in our photograph of Mehul Choksi and Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, but apparently their businesses were bogus and the loans on which they defaulted appear to have been their major source of income! Private detective agencies are equipped to track not only the missing persons but also their assets which might help the red-faced bank get out of the red!

Most missing persons don’t run off with a fortune, but it’s quite common for criminals to abscond with property such as other people’s cars and jewellery. Where fraud or other other criminal activity has been involved, we make sure that we make every effort to track down those assets and return them to their rightful owners. It’s all part of the service.