We were approached by a client who suspected his brother was obtaining money from their elderly mother's savings to fund a gambling habit.
The client, who lived out of the country, told us his brother lived just a few doors along from the mother. He believed his brother was calling by their mother's house each morning to ask for cash, which he claimed was to support an engineering business start-up. However, the client had reason to believe his brother had a significant gambling habit and was instead using the cash to fund this habit at bookmakers across the south of England.
The client further advised us that he had tried to raise the issue with his mother over the telephone in an attempt to stop her giving money to the other son. However, every time he raised the issue she refused to believe him, so he required visual evidence he could present to her to try and protect her retirement income.
After discussing options with the client it was decided that undertaking a period of covert surveillance against the brother would be the best way to gain evidence of a gambling habit or using the mother's money for other purposes.
On the day of the deployment, true to the client's expectations the brother left his home address after an hour and made his way to the mother's house nearby. After a brief stop at the mother's house, the brother was then observed by the surveillance team making his way towards the local train station.
After an hour long follow by public transport and foot into the nearby city centre, the brother was observed going in an out of various betting shops. At each stop the brother made, an operative was sent in to obtain covert footage of the subject’s activities.
Betting shops being an obvious target for theft and robberies, our operatives had to act carefully to maintain their cover whilst gathering the required intelligence and footage in each shop. Despite the challenges, over the course of 3 hours the team were able to gather close up video footage of the brother selecting his horses for each race from the wall displays, before placing large value bets in cash at the counter.
At the end of the deployment, we were able to provide the client with a tally of how much his brother had wagered on each horse along with accompanying video of him making his selections and placing each wager. Throughout the day we also saw no evidence of the brother being involved in the engineering industry or any kind of business start-up.
A few months after this case finished, we were contacted by the brother thanking us for our work. He had used a visit to the UK as an opportunity to present our evidence to both his mother and brother. Upon seeing the footage, the mother immediately stopped providing any further money to her son. The client was also able to convince the brother he had a gambling habit and was able to encourage him to seek professional help for this, a positive outcome for everyone involved.