Due Diligence research in China
PSA was tasked to conduct a background check for the client who wanted to rent a significant amount of attractively priced office space from a local real estate firm that was mostly staffed by foreign nationals.
Corporate Embezzlement in China
A European manufacturer, based near Shanghai, had a long-serving General Manager who had abruptly resigned from the company. In the months leading up to the resignation, the management team in Europe had begun to notice increasingly strange behavior from the GM. Rumors from China had also reached them of her conspicuously lavish lifestyle, including the recent purchase of an expensive sports car. When officials visited the factory near Shanghai with the intent of regaining some control over the company finances, discussions with the GM quickly became heated, leading to her suddenly submitting her resignation and walking out. Not only did the GM herself leave, but she took with her a handful of key staff as well, all of whom were later found to be related or close personal friends with her.
In the ensuing week, the European managers realized the true extent of the problem. Most of the company’s financial records went missing, along with a number of samples and other proprietary information. Even the limited information left behind indicated that a number of strange transactions had taken place, and large amounts of money had been siphoned from the company over a long period of time. Absorbed with the day-to-day operations of running the company now that the key staff had left, the European manufacturer was totally focused in the day to day operational needs of the business.
Counterfeit Chocolate in China
One of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers approached PSA because they suspected there were counterfeit products in the China market which could potentially damage their brand in addition to the loss of revenue—if the claim was proven true.
Dispute resolution in the Mining Sector
A foreign-owned gold mining firm that had been operating in Mindanao for ten years, and was considered a responsible player by national government and the wider local mining industry, approached PSA regarding a land dispute claim. An organized group of illegal small-scale miners had been operating on the firm’s site, illegitimately claiming it as their known.
According to the client, the illegal miners were operating without environmental clearance, or government oversight, and were engaged in illegal logging, the indiscriminate dumping of toxic chemicals, and the use of child labour.
In the midst of this situation, confidential company emails were being leaked from the company to individuals associated with the illegal miners. Not long afterward, a series of emails began circulating among media organizations, the Philippine military and high-level government officials.
The emails, which appeared to be those leaked by the former employee, were shocking. Using the client’s company logo, and name of company officials as the senders and recipients, the 29 internal emails painted a picture of a company involved in grave human rights abuses, including plots to assassinate local politicians.
The emails had cast the client as an irresponsible investor that needed to be dislodged from its claim, and had unfortunately gained traction among key stakeholders in the industry. This had put the company in the position of defending itself against wildly inaccurate claims of human rights abuse that could not only jeopardize its operation but damage its reputation.
The client vehemently denied the content of the emails and called in PSA to conduct an investigation.
Locating missing Filipinos
A multinational insurance firm headquartered in North America launched a series of media and direct mail campaigns in an effort to locate missing policyholders entitled to demutualization benefits.
Despite these efforts in the Philippines, the firm was unable to locate 1,731 eligible policyholders.
None of these missing policyholders resided at the addresses contained in policyholder records and a number of policyholders had reportedly moved abroad.
Manufacturing Fraud in the Philippines
PSA was engaged by a multinational manufacturing firm to examine allegations of internal fraud activity at its sites in the Philippines. The investigation began with a whistle-blower email implicating four employees from the Client’s purchasing department, who were alleged to be engaged in procurement fraud with several of the Client’s vendors.
Accounting Fraud in Malaysia
A multinational manufacturing company, with factories in Malaysia, suspected that they were being overcharged by the company providing their manpower. The manpower company provided approximately 100 workers and ten supervisors to the Client’s site. The client had begun to notice that additional overtime was being charged and suspected that the invoices from the manpower company were being inflated.
PSA was hired to audit the billing and services being provided by the manpower company.
Security consulting in the Energy Sector
The client had been hired to supply, install, and maintain millions of dollars’ worth of alternative energy equipment in a project that had financial backing from two different governments. After examining all options, the best location for the extensive land project was the Philippines island of Mindanao, where leftist and Muslim rebels are active. The client had misgivings about sending in engineers when they might be kidnapped on a poorly-policed mountain road or their sensitive equipment threatened in order to extract “revolutionary taxes”.
Managing Government Relations in Thailand
A large multinational client approached PSA with a particularly tricky problem. It had a sensitive and widely misunderstood product that it was hoping to test in Thailand. The testing, which had to take place in each individual country where the company operated, was absolutely essential. Without it, the government would not approve the product for commercial sale.
Infrastructure corruption in China
A major multinational bank invested about US$200 million in a bridge and highway construction project in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi. As the scope of the project was rather ambitious, the construction was divided into five separate phases with companies invited to bid on each phase. The bank hired a project management agency to oversee the bidding and manage the project to completion. In total, 15 companies were deemed to qualify to bid on the various phases of the project. The lowest bidders for each phase were then selected.
Several weeks after the bidding was completed and the winners announced, the bank received an anonymous letter alleging collusion among the winning bidders. The bidding contract specifically noted that all bidders must be legally and financially autonomous from each other. Bank management was concerned that collision might be an attempt to inflate the project cost, increasing the burden on the bank.
The bank contacted Pacific Strategies and Assessments to conduct an investigation on the bidders. The objectives of the investigation were to:
Establish if any of the bidders had overlapping ownership or management;
Determine if the project management agency was affiliated with any of the companies that bid on the construction work.
Site Physical Security
PSA’s decades of combined experience in the military, intelligence, investigations, law enforcement, and community/government relations can ensure that clients’ most far-reaching security problems stay under control. One private infrastructure company in the Philippines contacted PSA with complaints about their security guard force and tasked us to make recommendations for process improvement.
Extortion Threats in the Philippines
The president of a major multinational corporation in the Philippines received a letter demanding a large sum of money in annual revolutionary taxes. The letter claimed to be from a well-known armed communist movement and included a thinly veiled threat to the president if payment were not received. Threatening phone calls soon followed.
The president immediately contacted PSA in Manila and gave a brief overview of the letter he had received.
Theft from a company office in China
A large international software manufacturer approached PSA to carry out an internal fraud investigation. An unknown person had exploited a procedural weakness in the company’s warranty program, enabling him to steal some computer equipment from their operation in Southern China.