Watch out cheating spouses: Pakistan’s first private detective agency opens

Published: January 6, 2011

Confidential team works on real-estate fraud, personal protection. ILLUSTRATION: S.JAMAL.K

KARACHI: An astonishing 70 per cent of women are “pretty sure” that their husbands are up to no good. This is the assessment of Dr Fouzia Naeem Khan, who is a member of Fact Finders, a Lahore-based detective agency that opened its doors for business last month for people who need help investigating problems from spousal infidelity to real-estate fraud.

Fact Finders, which is ready to launch in Karachi, offers a variety of private investigative services, including intellectual property and copyright infringement, tenant screening, verification for embassies, pre-employment screening and personal protection. (A complete list of services can be found on www.factfinders.com.pk). However, it is their investigative work catering to husbands and wives suspicious of their better half committing infidelity that has caught the most interest.

The 25-member Fact Finders team comprises retired army and police officers as well as former Federal Investigative Agency officials and a clinical psychologist, explained one of the founders of the company, Masood, who wishes to be known by his first name only. “Initial contact is made by a potential client either through a cellular phone number 0321-6345555 or via email [email protected] after which a meeting is arranged with a company representative,” he says.

The client then identifies their “wish list” or requirements for their case. This is, for example, the length of time they want surveillance, the type of evidence required — video, audio or digital or all of the above. “In cases of adultery or marital disputes we offer consultations with a clinical psychologist as well,” Masood explains.

All factors affect the price package and since each case is customised an estimated cost is difficult to calculate, he says, completely unwilling to even quote a minimum price or range for their services. When asked what led to the creating of Fact Finders, Masood says, “Some of the problems are old and some new but technology has advanced greatly and therefore one cannot deal with their problems in an orthodox manner. Some issues are very sensitive and need to be dealt with in a private and professional manner.” The company promises complete confidentiality of the client and connected persons’ identity, intimate details and other evidence collected over the course of the investigation. In return, along with their service fee, the client signs a confidentiality agreement, prohibiting them from revealing any details about the company’s members and their interaction with them. “It’s an honour system,” Masood says. “So far it has worked well. We hope it will be the same in the future.”

Types of cases

While the month-old company has dealt with numerous cases, mostly from the country’s urban centres (Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad) by far the “highest-selling service” is fidelity investigation. However, the issue is “very sensitive and needs to be dealt with very carefully so that things are not blown out of proportion,” Masood says. “We hope to reconcile the family rather than breaking the home,” he adds. “Our intent is never to instigate the client or their spouse to expedite either a divorce or in the case of the husband cheating leading to marriage with the ‘other woman’,” he adds.

Tell-tale signs

The Karachi office’s Dr Fouzia Naeem Khan, who runs her own private practice, has a basic list of tell-tale signs of infidelity. There are, of course, behavioural indicators to identify when “a spouse is cheating” which include “going into corners constantly to take phone calls, being adamant about privacy especially with their wallets, cellular phone(s) and laptops, brushing their jacket etc. each time they enter the house”. But these signs are not set in stone and depend on situation to situation.

On the explanations usually given by husbands on why they cheat, Khan says, “they point to the wife’s low self-esteem, that she no longer takes care of herself and eventually husbands lose interest in them.” But in several cases the situation has been reversed, where the wife has been unfaithful.

A field agent for Fact Finders, Saleem, also points to another important issue. “In some cases it is crucial to point out the difference between someone who is cheating and an innocent friendship,” he says, adding that some “overly conservative and narrow-minded people” often “gossip without getting the facts straight and that is where we come in”.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2011.

Reader Comments (34)

  • Mir
    Jan 6, 2011 - 12:51AM

    about time!Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 1:28AM

    Wow. I am thrilled. I dont know if this is the right thing for our society or not. But lets hope people take it seriously and dont abuse such a service!Recommend

  • Pakistani57
    Jan 6, 2011 - 1:30AM

    nice now lets have our own Mauray and Jerry Springer showRecommend

  • wadi
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:34AM

    well tells you about islamic state land of iqbal and JinnahRecommend

  • Humanity
    Jan 6, 2011 - 4:46AM

    Wow .. the zombies have moved on from the ST murder to JS show awaiting the knight on a white horse to come lead them to heaven ..Recommend

  • Ehtisham+Rizvi
    Jan 6, 2011 - 9:36AM

    looks more like an advertisement than an articleRecommend

  • Pakistan One
    Jan 6, 2011 - 10:05AM

    This is absolutely wrong. One hand you will find the truth but on other hand private lifes will no longer remain private. Who knows how these stories, audio/video records will be sold on the internet and thanks to our media they will be publicised for free.

    In my humble opinion, the good is far less than the evil it bring out. Recommend

  • Jawad
    Jan 6, 2011 - 12:34PM

    The way this post has been published, it seems more like of a introductory post of their operations as per a marketing thing, rather than reporting. I did not understand the need of publishing their mobile phone number or the ‘info’ email here, since I believe that we can find this on their website. What was the reason for mentioning them here?Recommend

  • Bilal Ashraf
    Jan 6, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Our nation has very much free time for doing such kind of stuff. Is this a time to do take such kind of steps? Can’t you raise voice for the ones who don’t have shelters. I think they should start going with my perspective.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jan 6, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Agree, New Way of advertisement/marketingRecommend

  • Ammar Zafarullah
    Jan 6, 2011 - 2:18PM

    Seriously ET !! this should go in classfied advertisments Recommend

  • Aamir
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:06PM

    This service isn’t meant to be useful in Pakistan because it will worsen the problems even more as we all know the temperament of our beloved nation. We have already abused so many services. Who knows when these guys decide to quit and sell all the confidential info to third parties.. Recommend

  • Quratulain
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:18PM

    Thanks ET for telling people about this. Imagine the amount of grief people will save by hiring these services before going into business deals and marriages. Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jan 6, 2011 - 4:27PM

    They are treading on dangerous and risky paths.
    This service can so easily be misused.Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 5:11PM

    This kind of service needs good government laws implemented. And over here in Pakistan, you have no laws. You can buy any one off!
    This kind of service actually makes it more unsafe to live in Pakistan. You will have zero privacy now.Recommend

  • Sara
    Jan 6, 2011 - 6:48PM

    About marital matters i dont like this idea of investigation, as Allah says to hide the errors/weak points of others. If investigation will there about spouse loyaloty, it will increase house breaking incidents i-e divorce. Recommend

  • Kamran
    Jan 6, 2011 - 7:36PM

    agreed to what Pakistan One has saidRecommend

  • Khalid
    Jan 6, 2011 - 9:22PM

    Why does the article assume that its just men that cheat ?Recommend

  • jp
    Jan 6, 2011 - 10:00PM

    Hi, Is it one man show ? dont you guys have any land lines.. seems to be free lances.Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 7, 2011 - 12:15AM

    one step further from our own nature…. and towards oblivionRecommend

  • Jan 7, 2011 - 3:26AM

    Oh my !
    God is in a giveaway mood..I asked for a private detective yesterday and Bang here they come !

    Come on guys, open soon in Karachi.Recommend

  • kumail
    Jan 15, 2011 - 6:12AM

    Nice to read this article….
    i would appreciate this service because now a days a person cant trust anybody. I think this service should not only be focused for spouse… can we use this service for our business terms as well, if we want to get into any kind of partnership??Recommend

  • Amused
    Jan 16, 2011 - 3:43PM

    Stark, the lack of journalism acumen.Recommend

  • Jan 18, 2011 - 10:20AM

    dear, I am appreciating the team of fact finder company in pakistan. i come to know about this company on television show “aaj news”. in our society during these days the ratio of crime is grown up . So in our country this is a great job. I suggest to the fact finder team to kindly accommodate the inhabitants of our cities , the people having no much sources of wealth.
    with best regards,
    malik asif UAERecommend

  • Uzma
    Jan 20, 2011 - 9:53AM

    I saw the program on Aaj TV on Fact Finders and desperately wanted to show it to my husband but it was never repeated. People are not aware of this new concept and you need to aggressively publicize about your company so that people can get benefitted through it. Your pre-marital services will save many girls marring wrong guys. How do we know your fee structure? Keep it up Fact Finders! Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Jan 22, 2011 - 8:42PM

    Well, if we analyze the services offered by the company, they are much more than just spouse monitoring. Pre-marital check by families settled abroad about their in-laws (to be) in Pakistan seems very useful service. Then pre-employment screening and tenant checking also sounds interesting.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Jan 24, 2011 - 4:40PM

    Private detective services opens in Pakistan. The concept is no new and is practiced all over the developed world. Pakistan also is no exception as private information minning as well subject survelliance is informally available since many years. The lauch of a formal platform to offer such services in our society however remains questionable due traditional reasons as well integrity questions pertaining to personnal from private investigators. Thus it stays a huge disadvantage that system may be misused not only by information seekers but by the companies themselves offering such solutions. This becomes more fragile when company like fact finders has hidden company location, people employed and even to the extent land line numbers from public. This definately rise serious doubts about integrity and therefore requires that any person seeking their services shall ask for ‘Integrity Pact’; which shall have the clause to take them to police/honourable coursts, if information is misused or leaked for wrongful gains. I had a look over Western and Indian detective agencies and very fairly they provide not only information pertaining to their office locations but also the names, qualifications and expertise of human resources available with them on respective websites.

    The people of Pakistan shall therefore remain very careful about such money making companies, who work through emails or mobile telephone numbers and does not apparaently carry any licensing or expertise. Albeit we can see a random rise in further problems in an already disadvantaged society.

    Last but not least, the governement shall step in now to devise proper mechanism towards allowing any such agencies in Pakistan and shall be made reportable officially like various security companies. Especially, introduction of licensing stays vital where only those having real back ground of dealing investigations and intelligence previously like retired personnel from Armed Forces, Police, FIA, CIA etc be allowed to operate/manage such a sensitive business. Others in any position definately neither carry experience or qualifications and nor are ever security cleared for such assignments.

    Finally, remember, what they are offering is nothing but to make quick bucks at the cost of societal disintegration and conflict multiplication. Where the company intends invading private domain of innocent people, the citizens have the right to counter launch detective investigations into private and other affairs of such companies management — interestingly this in our society is not difficult through informal connections.Recommend

  • FF
    Jan 25, 2011 - 2:22PM

    This is great. Keeping Pakistani’s honest is tough enough without tools like this.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Jan 26, 2011 - 7:21PM

    Questioning integrity of the people working to help the victim spouses being cheated upon or innocent people being robbed is ridiculous. Rather than appreciating the initiative of launching these services by Fact Finders in Pakistan, criticizing it and looking at the glass half empty has become a fashion. Comments by pseudo intellectuals are nothing. I think we should avoid to be too judgmental by malign others without sufficient grounds. I don’t think the company intends invading private domain of innocent people, on the contrary they will be exposing cheaters and frauds. Recommend

  • Behzad Aly
    Jan 27, 2011 - 12:38PM

    I wonder if government regulatory bodies like SECP have allowed such business now as in the past it was not allowed under the law. The website has no physical address and land line phone numbers nor does it tell you about the who-is-who there with his/her credentials. Recommend

  • Moazzam Salim
    Jan 27, 2011 - 10:20PM

    I do not think this kind of operation is allowed under the laws of the country. I seriously doubt as to the credibility of any evidence collected in this manner. In fact a person who is being spied may file for damages and injunctions to stop such practice. There might even be a possibility of criminal action. I am surprised legal action has not already been taken against the so called factfinders. Recommend

  • Muhammad waseem
    Feb 17, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Many such authentic companies are now working in Karachi. One close friend of mine took the services of one such comapny naming secreteyez .Man! it really worked for him. Recommend

  • Shazil
    Mar 1, 2011 - 4:42PM

    Hi, Well I have visited the website. Their claim of being ‘Pakistan’s first LICENSED Private Detective Agency’ is totally false. I have checked with Ministry of Interior and they says their is no law governing private detective agencies. So their claim is totally illegitimate. And if the opening remark is so, what can be their credibility ? Beware guys n gals.

    Regards.Recommend

  • Voided enigma
    Mar 5, 2011 - 6:02PM

    It is quite hilarious to read comments wich people have written and as typical Pakistanis we have not checked facts and figures but have given our fatwas on it claiming to be the experts on the subject.Take for example the statement of Shazil which states ” I have checked with Ministry of Interior and they says their is no law governing private detective agencies” Now read it carefully does it say that there is no such company ? does it say we have not issued a licence ? it only says they do not have any governing laws as yet.
    Now iam sure one can make out the difference between the two.

    Having said that they do have a confidentialty clause which i am ure would not be one sided but that remains to be seen,as far as them wanting to be in a low profile without a registered address or land line works in favour of them as well as the client as i am sure i would not want to be seen going or oming to such a place if i want to keep my affairs totally private now would i ?

    there is another gentleman behzad Ali who i thin is confused about the role of SECP get info my friend then write, besides all this i think its about time we have such services and would help those who need them.Recommend

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