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Case Study - European Investigation

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Monday 9th January, 2017 | Author: Jon Wood [Member (F/1762)] | Filed under: Case studies

We were approached by an Australian insurance company that we had previously assisted, to undertake further assignments in Europe. It was for a workers compensation claim. Long story short, a Macedonian national moved to Australia to live and work. After a short period of employment the subject had an accident at work that meant he was unfit to complete his contractual duties. This resulted in him being signed off sick for more than 2 years. He received a hefty 6 figure compensation payout from the employer’s insurance and an annual payment every subsequent year.

For several years the insurance company received medical reports clearly stating the subject was unfit for work. By this time he had moved back to Macedonia. The insurance company through an affiliated Australian PI company asked if we could go to Macedonia to observe what was going on. We received a report from another agency who had conducted some investigation work in the area of the subject’s Macedonian address. Those investigators had concluded it was impossible to conduct any further surveillance due to how closely guarded and vigilant the local community was. This was in fact true and compounded by it being a small military town with a police presence and much Army personnel.

Despite these obstacles we attended the area with a team of operatives and completed 6 days continuous surveillance. In a short space of time we located the subject who appeared to be very fit, with no signs of suffering from a debilitating back complaint. Furthermore we were able to make discreet local enquiries. Using the internet and translation software, we found out he owned a pizzeria restaurant in the town.

By understanding local laws and restrictions, our trace and background agents were able to secure evidence from company records in Macedonia that confirmed the subject to be the pizzeria owner. Our surveillance agents also waited patiently at the restaurant and obtained video footage of the subject. Not only was he observed playing an active role in the restaurant, but also taking in deliveries. He was observed unloading cages off a lorry, at the same time carrying a small child.

We captured the footage and presented it to the client to an evidential standard and it was used. Needless to say the client was really impressed with our work which resulted in the cessation of payouts to the subject!

Article submitted by Full Member (F/1762) Jon Wood who operates Williams & Wood Investigation Services Ltd. For further information see his website: or email: