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NEWS RELEASE

 

SIRS acquired by Carnoustie Resources Ltd

 

 

Strategic Intelligence and Risk Services (Europe) Ltd, commonly known as ‘SIRS’ (or SIRS Europe), has announced that it is the latest addition to the fast-growing Carnoustie Group, headed by Chris Phillips.

 

And the positive news is that the current SIRS MD Keith Stowell will continue to be at the helm of the business, so all current customer services will continue, together with the SIRS name, and so it will be ‘business as usual’ but with some added value coming from the wider product offering.

 

SIRS specialise in all-round investigation, tracing of people, companies and assets worldwide and work for a large number of customers including UK Government departments, local councils, Government Insolvency Service, legal firms, insurance companies, insolvency practitioners, regulatory bodies, compliance specialists and firms across commerce, finance and industry. This deal will mean that SIRS can provide an increased product offering to both existing and new clients.

 

Carnoustie Resources Ltd trading as CARN Global was formed in 2011 by a combination of professionals with experience in online intelligence gathering, marketing and brand management.

 

Powered by unique data gathering and information discovery technology and supported by an expert team of data investigators, CARN works with clients in a range of sectors including Legal, Insolvency and the Financial Sectors.

 

Based in Kent and Devon, its experienced investigative team are experts in the use of Open Source intelligence for security, fraud investigations, due diligence and business intelligence. The business supplies cutting-edge web intelligence technology and ‘Big Data’ analysis solutions to key decision-makers.

 

Keith Stowell set up his first company in 1971 and the business quickly developed into the largest all-round investigation, tracing and collections business in the UK, processing hundreds of thousands of cases of all descriptions.

 

Due to various mergers and acquisitions, it changed its name to Strategic Intelligence and Risk Services in 2010, which is the business that has been acquired by Carnoustie Resources. SIRS has offices in London, Surrey and Leeds.

 

Keith Stowell said: “It is fantastic to have joined forces with another Investigative Group and I believe that between us we will become a ‘formidable force’. The joining together of different skills and experience within the same industry provides for a brilliant future together. All SIRS staff will be retained and the deal will mean that I will keep control of the customer facing elements of the business whilst allowing the CARN Group to grow the combined business’ in new markets.”

 

Welcoming Keith Stowell to the CARN team, Chris Phillips said: “SIRS are experts in their field and represent an important addition to the Carnoustie Group, and now the combined offering will be good for both ours and their customers moving forward. Keith is almost legendary in the investigation sector and it will be good to have his expertise onboard.”

 

Notes to editors

 

Keith Stowell: Keith has a military background and entered the world of investigation more than 40 years ago.

 

Initially becoming a specialist undercover operator for four years, he worked, amongst other things, as a gold and silver bullion porter, truck driver and croupier.

 

He then gained valuable experience with London’s then leading detective agency, in most forms of private and commercial investigations. He led many surveillance operations across the world, altogether in more than twenty jurisdictions. His undercover assignments resulted in a number of successful convictions.

 

SIRS: The company’s key customers include government insolvency service/insolvency practitioners; local councils and government departments; regulatory bodies/compliance specialists; the legal profession; commerce and industry; insurance companies; high net worth individuals and the finance industry.

 

CARN: With the Head Office in Kent, UK, and now bases in the South West of England and Gibraltar, CARN Global has the knowledge and accessibility of a regional company, combined with the capability and reach of an international organisation

NEWS RELEASE

 

Carnoustie Resources Ltd acquires fellow investigations business

 

Carnoustie Resources Limited, trading as Carn Global, has announced the acquisition of a closely aligned business in a deal worth six figures.

 

Strategic Intelligence and Risk Services (Europe) Ltd, commonly known as ‘SIRS’ (or SIRS Europe), is the latest addition to the fast-growing Carnoustie Group, headed by Chris Phillips.

 

Chris Phillips said the services of current SIRS MD Keith Stowell would be retained and that the deal would add strength and depth to both businesses as a whole.

 

SIRS specialise in all-round investigation, tracing of people, companies and assets worldwide and work for a large number of customers including UK Government departments, local councils, Government Insolvency Service, legal firms, insurance companies, insolvency practitioners, regulatory bodies, compliance specialists and firms across commerce, finance and industry.

 

CARN Global was formed in 2011 by a combination of professionals with experience in online intelligence gathering, marketing and brand management.

 

Powered by unique data gathering and information discovery technology and supported by an expert team of data investigators, CARN works with clients in a range of sectors including Legal, Insolvency and the Financial Sector

 

Based in Kent and Devon, its experienced investigative team are experts in the use of Open Source intelligence for security, fraud investigations, due diligence and business intelligence. The business supplies cutting-edge web intelligence technology and ‘Big Data’ analysis solutions to key decision-makers.

 

Keith Stowell set up his first company in 1971 and the business quickly developed into the largest all-round investigation, tracing and collections business in the UK, processing hundreds and thousands of cases of all descriptions.

 

Due to various mergers and acquisitions, it changed its name to Strategic Intelligence and Risk Services in 2010, which is the business that has been acquired by Carnoustie Resources.

 

Keith Stowell said: “It is fantastic to have joined forces with another Investigative Group and I believe that between us we will become a ‘formidable force’. The joining together of different skills and experience within the same industry provides for a brilliant future together.”

 

Welcoming Keith Stowell to the CARN team, Chris Phillips said: “SIRS are experts in their field and represent an important addition to the Carnoustie Group, and now the combined offering will be good for both ours and their customers moving forward. Keith is almost legendary in the investigation sector and it will be good to have his expertise onboard.”

 

Notes to editors

 

Keith Stowell: Keith has a military background and entered the world of investigation more than 40 years ago.

 

Initially becoming a specialist undercover operator for four years, he worked, amongst other things, as a gold and silver bullion porter, truck driver and croupier.

 

He then gained valuable experience with London’s then leading detective agency, in most forms of private and commercial investigations. He led many surveillance operations across the world, altogether in more than twenty jurisdictions. His undercover assignments resulted in a number of successful convictions.

 

SIRS: The company’s key customers include government insolvency service/insolvency practitioners; local councils and government departments; regulatory bodies/compliance specialists; the legal profession; commerce and industry; insurance companies; high net worth individuals and the finance industry.

 

CARN: With the Head Office in Kent, UK, and now bases in the South West of England and Gibraltar, CARN Global has the knowledge and accessibility of a regional company, combined with the capability and reach of an international organisation.

SIRS are proud to announce that, as from April 2014, they were awarded a four year contract to provide a range of Investigative services to the Insolvency Service. In particular, professional back up is provided to the Official Receiver Services, Investigation and Enforcement Services, and Business Services Division departments of the Insolvency Service offices throughout the UK.

This contract was awarded through an EU tender, with the award decision having been made on 17th March 2014.

Click here for further information.

Who knows what an Osman letter /Warning is?  Very few of you, I suspect, and we sincerely hope you never receive one.

We recently undertook instructions from a London-based criminal defence lawyer, acting on behalf of a Defendant charged with murder.  We are very experienced in criminal defence investigations and our instruction was to trace a potentially vital witness on behalf of the defence.  During the course of our investigation we were notified by the lawyer that the Defendant had been issued with an Osman Letter by the police.  This is a letter which is served on an individual when the police have credible intelligence that there is a “murder plot” in relation to a named individual but do not have enough evidence to make an arrest.  Therefore, there is a real threat to life.

The Osman Letter was so named after a case where Ali Osman was shot dead after police had been warned of the threat but did not alert the victim to the credible threat. The family went to the European Court of Human Rights and argued that his human rights had been breached because the police didn’t warn him about his killer and the court decided the police would be legally responsible for such failings during an investigation.

We were, therefore, notified of this “Warning” so that we were fully aware of the circumstances before commencing this criminal defence investigation.

We received a call one day from a lawyer with whom we worked on a regular basis and whose speciality was matters involving domestic violence.

When our agent arrived in his office he noticed that the solicitor’s face was badly battered and bruised.  The first thing he said was “I am never going to try and do your job again”.

The story unfolded that a badly battered wife had come to him for assistance.  He was making an application for an injunction and needed to serve it on his client’s husband.  As he lived close by he decided he would try and serve it himself.  The house was a small, terraced property in north west London with a twenty yard path to the door.  He decided to call there early one morning and took the wife along to identify him.  The idea was that the wife would remain in the car and, if the subject opened the door, he would look back and she would nod if it was her husband.

Everything went to plan, the husband opened the door, the wife nodded and the solicitor said “Hello, I am acting for your wife and I’ve got some papers for you …..”.  Before he could say any more the husband punched him in the face and knocked him down.  The solicitor tried to escape down the path but was knocked down again and kicked.  When he reached the car he couldn’t get in because the wife had locked the door from inside.  He received a few more blows before people on their way to work began to stop at which point the man ran back inside and the solicitor was able to get into the car and drive away.

The story does not end there …..  The solicitor wanted us to serve the husband with more papers.  He now would not open the door and so surveillance was kept on the man.  When he left the house and drove off, our agent followed.  Fortunately it was a hot day and the husband had his driver’s window open.  When he stopped at some traffic lights our agent jumped out of his car and served him with the papers through the car window.  The husband, who turned out to be one of the more violent characters we’ve had to deal with, then chased our agent, driving like a complete maniac and eventually rammed his car.  Our agent jumped out of the car and the man attacked him.  However, on this occasion the man had more than met his match.

We went through the process of serving him with various documents and each time he was aggressive, on one occasion throwing a petrol bomb at our agent’s car.  He was eventually imprisoned for contempt of court.  At first he was abusive to the judge and the court staff but, after being brought back to court four times to purge his contempt, he relented.  He had spent some nine months in jail.

It shows that the system works.  With some stubborn and aggressive people it can take longer but it does work.

One Saturday morning we received an urgent call from a lawyer for whom we undertook a lot of work, particularly involving domestic violence. An emergency court had been convened and a judge had issued a very unusual order.  The solicitor’s client, a beaten wife, had been locked out of her ground floor flat by her violent, criminal, drug dealing partner.  He had thrown all her clothes and other belongings onto the lawn in front of the block and had fitted a number of new locks to the front door of the flat.

A judge had granted an injunction allowing us to forcibly gain entry to the flat and ordering the husband to leave the flat immediately and not to return or go within a quarter of a mile of the premises, or to assault, molest, threaten or harass or in any way interfere with his wife.  Failure to obey this order would have resulted in the husband’s imprisonment for contempt of court.  The judge advised that, because he was known to be violent, we should be accompanied by the police.

We therefore telephoned the local police station and they said they would send officers to meet us near the premises.  In the meantime we had met up with the wife who showed us a picture of an 88 lb Staffordshire Bull Terrier which she said, if in the control of her husband, was extremely vicious.  She advised that we should be very careful if her husband was inside as the dog would certainly attack us and she would not be able to control it.  She also informed us that there was a window from the kitchen into an alleyway at the back of the building.

We had brought a carpenter with us to gain entry and, once in, fit new locks to the flat.  He was used to the kind of work we did and could “look after himself”.  We decided to place an agent in the alleyway at the back with a copy of the “Injunction” whilst one agent would go to the door with the carpenter and the police and, if the Respondent did not open the door, to force entry.

In the meantime a  policeman had arrived.  He was all of 19/20 years of age, quite skinny, his helmet was too large and came down over his eyes.  He asked us what we intended to do and we told him and warned him of the dog.  He looked absolutely terrified, crossed to the other side of the road and said “I don’t do dogs”.  He immediately radioed through to the police station and spoke to “his sergeant” who told him he did not need to go in with us but simply remain nearby and call for back up if needed.

We decided to go ahead on our own.  One of our agents grabbed an anorak which the husband had thrown onto the lawn and stood by the door ready to throw it over the dog.  The wife was nearby as she felt she could get control of the dog if the husband was not in the flat.  Our agent knocked on the door.  The sound of a kettle boiling could be heard inside.  As our agent knocked on the door, the dog began to bark ferociously inside and appeared to be jumping at the door.  As nobody opened the door, the carpenter began to force his way through the locks.  Suddenly, the door sprang open and the dog bounded at our agent who tried to throw the anorak over it.  At the same moment, the wife screamed at the dog which stopped in its tracks and sat down at her command.

Unbeknown to our agents, when the Defendant heard our knocking he had decided to escape from the flat through the back window.  Our agent at the back served him with the Injunction as he did so and the Defendant ran off.  Our agent informed the young police officer that we had gained access.  He said “I understand this man is a bit of a drug dealer …..I think I’ll just turn the pad over”.  We waved him in and began to count 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 -1 … at which point the police officer came running out screaming “Oh my God! Dogs, snakes, this is like something out of Minder” and ran off across the road.  What he didn’t know as he entered the flat was that there was an 8 ft python draped over the door to the living room and he virtually ran straight into it.  It was the client’s pet.

We were instructed by a major leasing company to trace and recover £5m worth of cranes. The cranes, which had been illegally sold by the company to whom they had been leased, consisted of two huge tower cranes and a 50’ long mobile tower crane.

Firstly, we traced the mobile crane to a depot in Bruges, Belgium. It was a complete mystery as to how the crane had got to Belgium as it required a special licence to travel on public roads and needed an escort. No such licence had ever been granted. We then kept surveillance on the Belgian depot whilst the leasing company obtained a court order for the return of the crane. This took about four days after which the crane was recovered.

The larger of the two tower cranes was then traced to a yard in Wiltshire. Unfortunately, the yard had two separate entrances about a mile apart. We placed a surveillance operative near each entrance. Because it was very rural and remote, the owners of the yard became suspicious and approached our agents with large Alsatian dogs and made threats. Our agents could also hear loud “clanking” and grinding noises. As our clients were afraid that the cranes were perhaps
being dismantled, we hired a small helicopter and one of our agents flew over the yard and took aerial photographs of the crane which, fortunately, was still in one piece. Again, a court order was obtained and the crane recovered.

The third crane was eventually traced to another yard in the north of England. Although it had been dismantled, all the parts were recovered and the crane was found to be complete.

Job done!

This is an outline of a recent case conducted on behalf of a Russian property company when we achieved a fantastic result for them through our ingenuity, global experience and determination.

Our clients owned a number of commercial properties in Russia. One such property, value approximately £2.5m, was utilised as a business centre producing income of approximately £70,000 per month. Ownership of the building had been vested in an off-shore Gibraltar-based company set up by a U.K. formation company.

With the benefit of inside information, the fraudsters effected a fraudulent sale of this company to another off-shore company they had set up in a different jurisdiction. They then registered this company as the sole owners of the building with the Russian Land Registry.

Imagine the shock of the real owners when the bailiffs turned up to evict them from their own building.

We traced and interviewed the nominee director of the Gibraltar company, took statements and samples of signatures to prove he had not signed any documents in relation to the sale and that his signature was a forgery.

We travelled to Gibraltar, obtained all sale documents relating to the sale from Companies House and interviewed the Notary whose stamp and seal had appeared on the sale documents. We also examined his register of notarisations and obtained statements to confirm all documents were forgeries. We also took statements from the Notary and from a principal of the Gibraltar management company who had also been a director of the company.

All documents were notarised at the Foreign Office in Gibraltar and an Apostille was obtained from the Foreign Office in London.

The documents were translated into Russian and the witnesses, our agents and the translator all attended at the Russian Embassy where all documents were signed and further notarised by a Consul and forwarded directly to the Russian court so there could be no further questions as to their validity.

This investigation resulted in the court ruling that the building should be returned to its rightful owners and a substantial compensation order was made.

 

Our clients, a multi-national corporate, were considering a joint venture with a substantial chemical company based in Africa. The African company had strong affiliations with two European engineering groups. We were commissioned to prepare a full and detailed due diligence report on the three companies, with particular attention to any references, allegations, complaints or convictions in relation to bribery and corruption.

Our report of some 1500 pages was incredibly thorough and included current activities, previous and current JVs, reputation, projects. It also included individual reports on all directors, to include financial history, criminal records, other interests and directorships, political affiliations, bribery and corruption allegations and investigations.

Our report, which spanned eight jurisdictions, was instrumental in future decisions regarding their relationship with these companies.