Winner: Ian Tyers - F2099
This award is presented to a member who has demonstrated outstanding professional investigation skills in carrying out a commendable investigation.
The investigation is summarised as follows:
This nomination is submitted in respect of Ian Tyers and IM Investigations Limited for delivering a complex investigation that reduced client loss from counterfeiters, disrupted organised crime networks, supported private prosecutions, built partnerships and undertook effective financial recovery. The investigation was spread across three years and it resulted in:
• 19 arrests and private prosecutions (with a total of 18 years detention so far and more trials pending);
• £2.2m recovered (with £1.8m restrained for future confiscation);
• c£23m counterfeits removed from the market and c£2.6m of illegal trading stopped;
• disruption/dissolution of three related organised crime groups (working in concert);
• sharing of intelligence with Europol relating to counterfeits, narcotics supply, human trafficking, fraud and money-laundering;
Summarised Testimony of the client
Nomination of Ian Tyers for the Zena Scott-Archer Investigator of the Year Award
I am writing as the former Assistant General Counsel Crime Prevention and Litigation solicitor at (removed as per request of the client) PLC. I wish to provide testimony for Ian Tyers and IM Investigations Limited regarding work carried out for me to protect our business, its shareholders and customers from loss and harm caused by fraud and, in particular, large-scale importation, distribution and sale of counterfeit goods.
Prior to instructing IM Investigations, I undertook initial discussions with Ian regarding what was then known of the issue, potential resolutions and his capability to help resolve it. There followed a period of research, intelligence build and analysis focused on our problems as the client and how best to address those in a lawful, professional, proportionate and cost-effective way. We were both mindful of the need to balance the private requirements of the business with the public good and the desire to use the opportunity to put in place strong public/private working relationships, as well as review internal designs and structures.
There followed a series of complex operations involving Ian himself and a multi-discipline team provided by IM investigations who undertook the investigation that is the subject of this nomination.
Ian was tasked with undertaking the risk analysis and identifying potential resolutions. He did so by using appropriate experts and recommended a three-tiered approach for dealing with perpetrators.
1. Involved a minimal investigation into minor players who would then be dealt with internally by lawyers to recover lost revenues,
2. A proportionate investigation into larger counterfeit suppliers with a view to potential prosecution
3. Asset recovery and the tracing and disruption of importers and distributors.
I agreed to this proposition and there followed a carefully managed series of operations to recover lost revenue, decrease the market in counterfeit goods and disrupt the organised criminal activity sitting behind it all.
The operation resulted in arrests and charges of the international suspects who were the major players in the UK. The quality of the investigative work, the attention to detail and dedication that allowed me to prosecute the individuals concerned was as good as anything I have seen in a long career in law enforcement, government and private practice. Ian orchestrated the work that enabled the clearing of the vast majority of minor counterfeit sellers from internet sales platforms, enabled recovery of lost revenue and the prosecution of the more significant offenders and civil actions in respect of others.
We have forged meaningful long-term relationships with public bodies, obtained obvious respect from the judiciary, made changes to process and products and passed valuable intelligence to various major crime investigation bodies.
I commend Ian Tyers and IM Investigations for demonstrating the highest standards of investigation work, fully meeting my expectations as the client and, simultaneously making a significant contribution to the broader public interest by disrupting serious organised crime networks.
I am a detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Police, and work within the economic crime department of Central Specialist Crime Unit.
It was a pleasure dealing with Ian and his team, and I would not hesitate to assist Ian again should the occasion arise. His professionalism throughout the operation, from providing a full brief of the investigation, and suitable material in order to obtain search warrants, organising a full team to optimise the search and seizure of exhibits and the forethought of obtaining a surveillance team to identify and locate the one outstanding subject in the investigation shows the experience and tenacity of Ian’s investigative ability.
I am a Police officer serving within Hertfordshire Constabulary
I was extremely impressed with all aspects of this operation and the attributes displayed by Ian and the team. The enthusiasm for the investigation has remained throughout the operation, from the date of arrest until now when corresponding with members of the team. Ian and the team have very high standards of investigation which is backed by a wealth of knowledge and experience. They are completely committed to bringing offenders to justice and will draw on the above attributes to achieve this.
I believe the result of the operation reflects on very high standards of investigation and great partnership working between private investigators and the police.