Are international investigations and investigators in every country the same?

International investigators are radically different in every country throughout the world. International investigations, for example, in Latin America are radically different from those conducted in Europe. Investigations in the United States are also very different from inquiries relating to international investigations in Europe. Finally, international investigations conducted in Asia are much different than those investigations conducted in the Middle East or Africa, the United States or Europe.

In the United States investigations are probably the simplest in view of the fact that there are so many databases to assist investigators in completing their work. Private investigators in the United States generally subscribe to various databases available commercially which contain substantial information regarding individuals and corporations and the United States. Criss-cross directories relating to persons and phone numbers are also readily available. These databases are very complete in most instances which make the work of a private investigator in the United States simple compared to the same tasks for international investigators. For example, criminal and civil record checks in the United States can be obtained very inexpensively due to the vast number of databases available commercially. However, a criminal record or civil lawsuit check in Latin America or Africa, for example, is extremely complicated. Depending on which country is involved, international private investigators may not even be able to gain access to civil lawsuit records unless they have a contact or a source in the government in the particular country.

With regard to criminal records, there is no database availability in foreign countries which can be accessed on the internet. Instead, international private investigators must have reliable law-enforcement sources in a government of a country in order to obtain accurate results regarding criminal records. Also, they must have reliable law-enforcement contacts in various agencies since in some countries, for example, there may be three or four law-enforcement agencies which all have criminal record databases.

Investigations in Europe are generally more difficult then private investigations in the United States because, believe it or not, the privacy laws in Europe in some instances are even stricter than privacy laws within the United States. This is almost always true when it comes to criminal record checks. Corporate records in Europe are generally complete whereas corporate registrations in Asia, Africa and Latin America are completely different in terms of requirements and information obtained during a search of records. Corporate records in Africa are generally very different and often incomplete depending on which country in Africa is involved since most were former colonies of France, England or in some instances, Germany or Portugal.

Corruption is a major issue facing international private investigators throughout the world. Therefore, it is important that when a law firm, corporate entity or an individual decides to use an international private investigator and relies on their results, a professional, competent and honest firm must be retained to do the work. Otherwise, the private investigators involved are often influenced by foreign corporations who offer financial remuneration in exchange for reporting false information. Most foreign international investigators know that they can often receive money from both their client and the subject of the investigation. Caution should be used at all times by clients when selecting international private investigators due to the potential for manipulation of information by such investigators. It is best to use firms who have a principal office in the United States or the United Kingdom in order to avoid corruption issues and obtain an honest result for any particular international private investigation.