Search This Blog

Saturday, 31 October 2009

5.11 Tactical 6.6 Padded Molle Utility Pouch

Padded molle utility pouch for use with any molle compatible bag or vest

The 5.11 Tactical 6.6 Padded Molle Utility Pouch attaches quickly to any molle compatible system to help you organise critical gear. Can be used to stow small items on the exterior of a pack, vest or gear bag; providing easy access to necessary items.

Materials and construction
5.11 Tactical 6.6 Molle Padded Utility Pouch is made of 1000D nylon and uses only YKK® zippers. The pouch is extremely durable and can be easily removed and relocated to other molle compatible systems using the Slickstick™ molle attachment system.

Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E Triple M16 & SA80 Molle Magazine Pouch

Easy to use molle pouch for G36, M16 or SA80 magazines

This Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E Double G36, Triple M16 or SA80 Molle pouch is ideal for mounting on any S.T.R.I.K.E compatable vest, bag or rucksack.

Designed by Blackhawk
The S.T.R.I.K.E Double G36 / Triple M16 - SA80 Molle Pouch was designed by Blackhawk to aid in speed and ease during military operations and assaults.

All Blackhawk Molle pouches are designed to be open at speed with one hand. The fitting of any Molle or S.T.R.I.K.E Pouch is fast, simple and secure.

Fjallraven Montt Hydratic Jacket

Fjallraven Montt Hydratic Jacket, great value walking and trekking jacket

Fjallraven Montt Hydratic Jacket has ample length in the back to keep your rear warm. G-1000® outer fabric and a waterproof Hydratic barrier as middle lining.

Fjallraven Montt Hydratic Jacket is an all-weather jacket for the winter months, has nine pockets and can carry many items.

Detachable hood and slit under the fabric flap at the yoke provides better ventilation.

G-1000 is Fjällräven´s own unique fabric and a classic ingredient in Fjällräven´s equipment. The densly woven fabric is a blend of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, making the material extremely hardwearing at the same time as it breathes well and dries quickly.

One of the G-1000 material´s greatest characteristics is its superior breathability, which particularly useful for active outdoor use. With the application of an environmentally friendly impregnation made from beeswax and paraffin, the material also becomes water and dirt repellent.

Iraq, lawyers rescued

The Law Gazette - 14th August 2003

Six city solicitors had to be rescued by former SAS soldiers in Baghdad recently after their jeep broke down and was surrounded by a hostile crowd in a remote suburb of the city at dusk.

The lawyers – known to be from a large city firm – entered Iraq last month through Jordan, and were likely to be scouting for contracts. A number of big-ticket tenders for banking and telecommunications deals are imminent in the war ravaged state.

The Security operators who helped the lawyers came from International Intelligence Limited, a Cheltenham based firm, which has developed close protection teams – including former SAS members - to Iraq in support of companies tendering for reconstruction contracts.

Managing director Alex Bomberg said his team “extracted the group to a central Baghdad hotel as an act of humanity or kindness.

He added “While we fully understand and respect that there is a great deal of business to be secured in the region, we ask and suggest that any legal professionals wishing to conduct business in Iraq take the proper and measured precautions. The logistics of visiting Iraq at this present time in itself are a huge minefield; the infrastructure is non-existent and the whole area an extremely hostile environment.”

Dyneema Covert Body Armour Vest

Dyneema Covert Body Armour Vest, NIJ IIIA Ballistic and knife protection in a concealed format

This NIJ IIIA covert body armour vest is designed for protection against 9mm and .45 firearms and offers good ballistic / knife (plus hypodermic needles, broken bottles etc) protection for vital organs whilst maintaining a low profile.

Designed by our own special forces advisor and used by a number of UK Government departments, this Dyneema Covert Body Armour Vest is full adustable in four point, sides and shoulders for a better, closer fit.

This Dyneema covert vest offers great side protection while maintaining a low profile and pockets for our ballistic plate are fitted as standard to an easy upgrade for changing operational requirements; with the addition of ballistic plates; enabling the vest to stop 7.62 AP Rifle rounds.

Dyneema Covert Body Armour Vest, lighter than Kevlar!
Being manufactured from Dyneema makes this Dyneema Covert Body Armour Vest lighter than Kevlar while still giving the same level of protection.

Air conditioning
The Dyneema Covert Body Armour Vest also comes with an air flow system that aids in keeping the wearer cool. An ideal vest for use in the Middle East of Africa.

Close Protection, Case Studies

Intelligent Protection International Limited was approached by a businessman travelling from the USA to a number of European cities. He was to be accompanied by his family during his travels for a period of six weeks.

During the visit, we provided a former member of the SAS as our client’s personal close protection officer. The officer was fluent in German and French, this aided our client a great deal, as well as the feeling of being protected.

Our client’s family were protected by one male, one female operative, both former military, both highly experienced.

The visit went without any issues, six European cities were visited, and the client rebooked our services.

Intelligent Protection International Limited  was instructed by a firm of London Solicitors to provide close protection, counter intelligence and intelligence services during an on-going/long-term legal case.

The case involved high profile litigation between two countries. This case was the largest litigation case in UK legal history, also one of the longest.

ESS Striker Land Ops Goggles

ESS Striker Land Ops Goggles, high-performance goggle system for higly active ground troops

The ESS Land Ops tactical military goggle is a high-performance goggle system for highly-active ground troops. The ESS Land Ops™ goggle features exceptional fog resistance, particle filtration, and comfort.

ESS Land Ops™ is designed to fit over most eyeglasses

Comfort and ventilation
The ESS Land Ops™ Goggles feature a full-perimeter Hi-Flow™ ventilation and filtration system that ventilates humid air while filtering out airborne particles, air blasts and splashes. The open-cell face padding provides superior, long-lasting comfort.

Blackhawk Fury Gloves with Kevlar

Blackhawk Fury Gloves Kevlar, Kevlar re-inforced gauntlets from Blackhawk

These Fury Gloves With Kevlar are ideal for Police or urban operations, where extended wrist protection is required. An innovation from Blackhawk.

Lean and dexterous gripping
Lean ergonomic cut and pre-curved design of the Kevlar gloves follows the contours of the "relaxed" hand for greater dexterity and less bulk when clutching objects. Double layered palm and reinforced fingertips provide improved grip and greater durability

Genuine materials such as DuPont™ KEVLAR®. Plus high quality treated leathers ensure maximum performance and no-melt, no-drip protection.   Dual layered palm with Pittards™ WR100X and Armortan® treated premium goatskin leather for water repellency and 25% more abrasion resistance.

Blackhawk Fury Commando Gloves with NOMEX

Blackhawk Fury Commando Gloves NOMEX, Low profile wrist protecting gloves with NOMEX

These Fury Commando gloves with NOMEX are ideal for Police or urban operations, where wrist protection is required. An innovation from Blackhawk.

Blackhawk Fury Commando Gloves NOMEX, dexterous fit

Lean ergonomic cut and pre-curved design of the NOMEX gloves follows the contours of the "relaxed" hand for greater dexterity and less bulk when clutching objects. Double layered palm and reinforced fingertips provide improved grip and greater durability.

Genuine protective materials used, such as DuPont™ NOMEX®. Plus high quality treated leathers ensure maximum performance and no-melt, no-drip protection.

Dual layered palm with Pittards™ WR100X and Armortan® treated premium goatskin leather for water repellency and 25% more abrasion resistance.

Residential Security Teams (RST)

Protecting your home or workplace, a frontline defence part of a larger security plan or as a stand alone service.

Our Residential Security teams (RST) are utilise former British Soldiers and with vast military training and experience, they offer a solid protection solution for you and your family.

With years of experience we are able to deploy to many locations across the Globe at very short notice. Armed Residential Security Teams are of course an option where the law permits. Our management team are all experienced in security reviews and are able to give the best possible advice on your requirements 
Since our formation in 2002, we have deployed teams to – The Middle East, America, Europe, North Africa and India.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Private Investigations

International Intelligence, Private Investigations

We understand that from time to time the need may arise for private clients to instruct our investigations team.

 International Intelligence personnel are experienced in helping our private clients to manage cases where complex relationship or sensitive issues may arise; we understand the need for clarity and confirmation of events and situations, with discretion and care.

 Our investigative services cover:
  • Matrimonial investigations
  • Hidden asset tracing
  • Theft
  • Missing persons
  • Financial investigations
  • Background checks 
Please contact our offices if you wish to discuss your personal case with one of our investigation team. We are happy to advise the best course of action and will guide you through each step of our investigation, should you choose to instruct International Intelligence Limited.

Our reporting structure has been devised to provide the opportunity for case or budget review at any point.

All evidence that is required to be used in a court of law will be gathered in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence act (PACE).

Investigation Case Studies

A corporate client tasked International Intelligence Limited to investigate allegations of theft among its workforce, even though the company had security guards and CCTV. We duly deployed a covert operative within the team that was under suspicion to obtain evidence to aid legal action and dismissal.

Our female operative, a former police officer was able to (with the aid of electronic eavesdropping devices and physical evidence) gain the intelligence needed to support a prosecution.

The result in this case was prosecution of both security and company personnel. Some of the stolen property was also obtained and returned...

An existing corporate client telephoned our offices late one Friday evening requesting an urgent meeting due to the fact that he suspected that his business partner was using their offices, facilities and finance to launch his own business.

International Intelligence Limited were tasked to carry out an in depth investigation into this individual, his personal finances and to obtain intelligence via investigation and electronic surveillance in order to obtain leverage to force a resignation or face prosecution. We were able to obtain information from our client’s computer and telephone system, thus providing recordings of conversations and also emails proving that the target was indeed going into competition with his (at the time) business partner.

As a result of our investigations we were able to provide enough evidence to force the Director to resign. He willingly took that option rather than going through lengthy legal channels.

5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack - Functionality, more functions than most Generals!!

Sized for a three-day excursion

The 5.11 Tactical RUSH 72 Backpacks is loaded with the features operators need and want. Designed by special operations combat veteran, Kyle Lamb of VTAC™, these backpacks come with two large compartments and a compression strap system that allows expandability depending upon how much gear you carry.

The front section of the 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack includes an organizer panel with two zippered mesh compartments; a large zippered pocket, a key fob and radio/magazine pockets with hook and loop straps. The main compartment has three mesh zippered pockets and a separate large cinch pocket. There are two full-length side pockets that can handle a variety of different items including large water bottles.

The top of the 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack has a separate fleece lined eyeglass pocket and a smaller external zippered gear pocket. 5.11 Tactical added molle-compatible webbing to the front and side of the pack, allowing you to attach a host of different 5.11’s SlickStick™ accessory pouches. The padded shoulder straps also have molle-compatible webbing along with an adjustable sternum strap. The padded waist straps can be stowed away in hidden pockets and the padded back allows ventilation for those long hikes.

5.11 Tactical have also included a reinforced hydration pocket that allows you to add a hydration bladder for immediate access to water. We finished the pack off with a heavy-duty, nylon carry handle at the top.

Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack

Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack, ideal for assault or waterbourne operations

This Blackhawk assault pack is the one you need! A mid-sized frameless back pack with a ventilating back panel and silent zipper pulls, and has a detachable sternum strap and padded removable waist belt. The inside has a pouch to fit an optional 100 oz. Blackhawk hydration reservoir system.

Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack, a great value military rucksack

The Blackhawk assault pack has a main compartment, smaller cargo pouch and cargo pocket. This 3-day pack also includes sleeping bag straps.

Dimensions: 6” X 13” X 20”
Cubes: 2,240”

Lowa Combat GTX Boots

Lowa Combat GTX Boots, Functional boot with higher leg and Gore-Tex®

This functional Gore-Tex® special boot corresponds to the Mountain Boot in all its properties and design, except the Lowa Combat GTX Boot is designed with Lowa's AWP (Asymetric Walking Position) and has a slightly higher leg.

Extra support
The higher leg gives additional support to users requiring that little extra confidence when tackling those 'above the norm' duties. In fact, the Lowa Combat GTX Boots are widely purchased by dog handlers and firearms teams, plus Military, Police and Close Protection units worldwide.

Lowa Combat GTX Boots, Climate controlled comfort

Lowa Combat GTX Boots feature Gore-Tex® for outstanding climate controlled comfort and waterproofing, coupled with a tough wear resistant Cambrelle® lining.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Sky News report - Royal Telephone Tapping

Interview with Mr Alex Bomberg on the subject the telephone "account hacking" of accounts belonging to staff of the Royal household of HRH The Price of Wales.

Mr Alex Bomberg, Group CEO, International Intelligence Limited
A former member of the British Army and aide to members of the British Royal Family, Alex specialises in counter espionage and intelligence gathering, heading the operational element of the company.

Since the formation of the company in 2002, Alex has been instructed by a number of Government agencies and Royal families worldwide to provide security and intelligence based solutions

Tomorrows Ear - Documentary

National Geographic Channel - 11th November 2004
Tomorrows Ear - Documentary

Interview with Mr Alex Bomberg on the subject of Espionage, telephone interception and room bugging/eavesdropping.

Mr Alex Bomberg, Group CEO, International Intelligence Limited

A former member of the British Army and aide to members of the British Royal Family, Alex specialises in counter espionage and intelligence gathering, heading the operational element of the company.

Since the formation of the company in 2002, Alex has been instructed by a number of Government agencies and Royal families worldwide to provide security and intelligence based solutions

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

STANAG 2920 Protection Levels

Military standards for ballistic protection & armour

Solutions for military applications are tested according to relevant NATO standards, normally STANAG 2920 (STANAG= NATO Standardization Agreement).

STANAG 2920 The adoption of standards for ballistic protection levels and testing

STANAG 2920 ("Ballistic test method for personal EOD body armour materials and combat clothing") is used to measure materials ability to stop fragments and shrapnel. The measuring technique was originally developed for body armour but now see general use in all situations where fragments are the primary concern. For instance, STANAG 2920 is used to measure Add-on-Armour systems for armoured vehicles.

Tests according to STANAG 2920 are conducted by shooting "FSPs" (Fragment Simulating Projectiles) onto the test specimen with different velocities while measuring the velocity of each FSP. By altering the velocities, after a number of shots an estimate of the "ballistic limit" can be obtained, which is the speed up to which the material defeats the fragment.

Combat troops rarely suffer injury or fatality from bullets but are at high risk from primary (direct) and secondary (environmental) fragmentation. To combat these threats Intelligent Armour Limited utilises a special range of Fragmentation 'F' levels whose performance is measured by a V50 value.

The V50 test is the internationally recognised standard for assessing the fragmentation resistance of personal protection. The fragmentation test is conducted using Fragment Simulating Projectiles (FSPs) which are available in a range of weights approximately following the binomial progression. The test is conducted by firing FSPs at the armour at increasing velocities until an average velocity of penetrating and non-penetrating projectiles is obtained.

The higher the ballistic speed, measured in metres per second, the higher the rating of material, shown as V50 000m/s. The V50 (Velocity 50% or mean velocity) is the average of the velocities recorded for six fair impacts consisting of the three lowest velocities for complete penetration and the three highest velocities for partial penetration, provided the spread is not greater than 40 metres/second (STANAG 2920)

Oakley Half Jacket XLJ 3 Lens Array Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket XLJ 3 Lens Array Sunglasses, protective Oakley eyewear with interchangable lenses

The Oakley SI Half Jacket XLJ 3 Lens Array Sunglasses offer extended lens coverage for larger faces (or for those who prefer an expanded field of view) and come complete with an assortment of interchangeable lenses in a special hard case (includes case). Plus 100% UV protection.

Oakley Half Jacket XLJ Sunglasses, extended vision and peripheral clarity

Oakley SI Half Jacket XLJ 3 Lens Array Sunglasses open-edge design extends your vertical field of vision, and each set of optional lenses retains the peripheral clarity of XYZ OPTICS®. That's just one of the patented innovations that give HIGH DEFINITION OPTICS® (HDO®) its unbeatable performance.

Oakley Half Jacket XLJ 3 Lens Array Sunglasses, durability and impact protection

Oakley Half Jacket XLJ 3 Lens Array Sunglasses incorporate shatterproof and scratch-resistant Plutonite® polycarbonate lenses to provide added durability, while meeting all ANSI Z87.1 standards for optical precision and impact resistance.

The History of Kevlar

Stephanie Kwolek, Dupont laboratories

Stephanie Kwolek was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania in 1923. As a child Stephanie wanted to be a doctor but was also keenly interested in science. She attended the women’s college, which formed part of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and gained a Bsc in Chemistry in 1946. Due to a lack of funds for a medical course she took up a research position at the Dupont textile fibres laboratory in Buffalo, New York.

In 1950 she moved to the new Research Laboratory in Wilmington, Delaware. Here she specialized in low-temperature processes for the preparation of condensation polymers, trying to create highly rigid and strong petroleum based fibres.

Her early successes included the patented Kapton and Nomex aramid fibres, as well as instigating research into liquid crystalline polymers which led to the creation of the first pure monomers used to synthesize polybenzamide.

She took some of the intermediates from these processes which were usually too unstable to remain for more than a few seconds, and created a suitable solvent which allowed for low temperature polymerization of these products. When placed under these conditions the monomers formed a fluid cloudy substance, in contrast to the usually clear and viscous form of most previously discovered polymers.

Kwolek felt however that this substance was worth persevering with and insisted that it was spun into a fibre. The product was an incredibly strong and stiff fibre, the like of which had never been seen before.

Kevlar was first synthesized in 1964 by Stephanie Kwolek at the Dupont laboratories in Wilmington, Delaware in the United States

Stephanie Kwolek’s research with high performance chemical compounds for the DuPont Company led to the development of a Kevlar which is five times stronger than the same weight of steel.

Kevlar, patented by Kwolek in 1966, does not rust nor corrode and is extremely lightweight.

The disadvantages

As strong and light Kevlar is it still has some disadvantages, in its most famous application as a bulletproof material Kevlar is not ideal as it is very stiff and so consequently the wearer suffers a great loss of movement, a great disadvantage when used by police who often need to react quickly.

Kevlar also absorbs water and is consequently more susceptible to environmental influences than some other strong materials such as graphite base materials. Despite it incredible tensile strength Kevlar also has relatively poor compressive properties and so there are still improvements, which can be made.

The future of Kevlar

Kevlar® has evolved over four decades of innovation to do everything from helping save thousands of lives around the world to helping make safer homes and vehicles to helping land spacecraft on Mars.

Kevlar® XP™ a new age!

Both DuPont and independent tests show that Kevlar® XP™ consistently stops bullets within the first three layers of a vest designed with a total of 11 layers. The remaining layers of Kevlar® XP™ absorb the energy of the bullet, resulting in less trauma, or backface deformation, to the vest wearer. Based on DuPont experience, significantly more layers are typically required to stop a bullet in other commercially available lightweight technologies.

Kevlar® XP™ initially will be available for body armor, but DuPont already is developing additional ballistic applications for the future, as well as products for other industries.

Testing Kevlar Vests

Ballistic tests are carried our in a number of different was in a number of countries around the World; each having there own technical specification to work to. What is widely acepted as the "Industry Standard" is the US National Institute of Justice; Body Armor Compliance Testing.

NIJ Levels

NIJ levels were develped as a set standard in the US and most Body Armour, Ballistic Plates and Helmets are tested within the set standards.
More information on NIJ Ballistic Standards

Blackhawk SOLAG HD Gloves with Kevlar

Blackhawk SOLAG HD Gloves - Kevlar, Kevlar re-inforced gloves for special ops light assault

These Blackhawk S.O.L.A.G HD Gloves with Kevlar are ideal for Police or urban operations. An innovation from Blackhawk.

Lean cut and pre-curved for dexterity and grip

Lean ergonomic cut and pre-curved design of the Blackhawk glove follows the contours of the "relaxed" hand for greater dexterity and less bulk when clutching objects. Double layered palm and reinforced fingertips provide improved grip and greater durability.

Blackhawk SOLAG HD Gloves, Kevlar materials

Genuine protective materials used, such as DuPont™ KEVLAR®. Plus high quality treated leathers ensure maximum performance and no-melt, no-drip protection.

Countering Espionage - A modern threat

Corporate Espionage was once thought of as a risk that only affects the richest of companies in high-risk sectors or emerging markets, the latest trends suggest that this is far from the truth.

The history of espionage, thought by some as the second oldest profession in the world, can be traced back to biblical times with more than 100 references in the Old Testament. Sun Tzu's book "The Art of War", written around 500BC deals specifically with intelligence networks and intelligence gathering. Unfortunately as is often the case, history has not taught us the most basic of lessons; that intelligence is power, whether in business or war, he who has intelligence has the upper hand.

Many are naive enough to think that espionage comes straight out of the pages of Ian Fleming's James Bond, confined to Governments and the largest of corporations. They are very much mistaken.

No one wants to be a victim, least of all admit to being a victim, yet the rewards for those carrying out espionage far outweighs the risks or expense involved. Sad as it may seem, a simple device bought for as little as two hundred pounds can cost a company millions through lost corporate intelligence. At the lower end of the scale there is the office refuse, if this is not disposed of in the correct manner it can be yet another source of leaked information within companies or organisations.

Directors, management and IT personnel of many companies fail to understand the fundamental basics of countering espionage and the techniques employed by those carrying out such activities.

Millions of pounds are spent each year on eavesdropping transmitters, computer keystroke loggers and telephone recording systems. Everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing in business, and for some it makes sense to have a budget for "intelligence" prior to entering into litigation suits, hostile takeovers or mergers and acquisitions.

Litigation, for example, is an area of complex issues, cross border or otherwise, where technical surveillance has in the past, been used to affect the outcome of a given case. When a case is worth £500 million, spending £50,000 on winning makes sense to many companies, and far outweighs the risks of becoming the loser.

The level of the risks involved in Corporate Espionage is all relative to the financial rewards. The level of the technology employed is relative to the investment.

It is more and more evident that few security companies fully understand the technology involved, how communications operate or are intercepted/manipulated, leaking vital corporate intelligence to competitors.

Some Technical Surveillance Counter Measures TSCM firms are so far behind that the advice that they pass on to their clients is often futile. With budgets in the tens of thousands of pounds, a telephone can be intercepted miles away from the target location and monitored from the other side of the world, live. Each call is time and date stamped, in turn recorded on a computer for later evaluation.

The fact of the matter is, in some cases a TSCM sweep is of no use when technical surveillance can be so remote. Better understanding is needed, both of the modus operandi and of the latest technology. Few TSCM firms understand just how far an espionage budget of £20k can go.

TSCM sweeps as part of a security housekeeping policy do make sense if carried out to include computer systems, rooms and telephone lines to local exchange level. It is true to say that the basic technical principles of espionage technique have not changed too much over the past twenty years since the end of the cold war. However the movement in technology and with the vast use of communications spanning the world has lead the public into a false sense of security and apathy when employing these communication techniques.

Any type of electronic communication can be intercepted at one level or another; the role of the TSCM firms should be best utilised identifying the areas of weakness and employing measures to combat these possible areas of weakness.

Office Security

Many large companies fall foul of size and general lack of in-house security policies, making espionage far easier and easier still with inside information.

The placement of bugging devices in offices or boardrooms is not always the first option for espionage; often the logistical problems involved in a live covert device far outweigh the benefits. However, should access have been gained via inside information or chance, many of those carrying out espionage prefer to install hardwired GSM based devices, solving power and distance issues. Cat5 cabling for example is a good carrier for installing covert microphones. A GSM device being located elsewhere in the complex acts as a "voice activated transmitter" and is almost impossible to locate during a TSCM sweep of the given boardrooms or offices.

Having a good internal security policy will aid a company and deter potential offenders. Staff should challenge visitors not displaying a visitors badge; visitors should be met at reception and not left unattended. Workmen also should not be left unattended and all companies should employ a clean desk policy where possible.


A device placed on the telephone line can be as far as five miles away prior to the line entering the local exchange. A simple device that tests line voltage or impendence will not detect hi-tech devices unavailable to the general public. These varieties of device are normally of GSM type and utilise the power from other sources within the local exchange/cabinet. They are nigh on impossible to detect without a physical check of the line up to the local cabinet (green roadside cabinet) level.

Securing an external landline to the property need not be an expensive encryption system; replacing an analogue system with digital ISDN/ADSL system will ensure that the line is far more secure. Fibre-optic cables cannot be tapped into with ease unlike a twisted copper pair; a "pod-splitter" and true line identification are required.

Cellular telephones

The fact is, that while it costs in excess of £250k for the necessary equipment for intercepting a cell phone, jamming the phone's signal costs less than a tenth of that price and is far easier on an operational basis. A target uses a cellular telephone because she/he thinks that it is the most secure way of communicating. A cellular jammer can be deployed to jam the cellular telephone, forcing the target to use the landline that is intercepted. Keeping it simple counts, low risk and high gains.

Computer Systems/Email

Trojan Viruses sent to targets via email can contain complex keystroke logging programmes or open back doors to computer systems. At the lower end of the scale, there are many of such programmes freely available on the Internet, at a low cost or for no cost at all. At the higher end of the scale there can be hackers targeting a business/director in order to gain given intelligence on sensitive financial matters. The cost of the latter option, whilst in the thousands of pounds mark is, as I have previously covered, worth the risk in the larger cases.

New, off-the-shelf, computers are not as secure as users might think; the default settings are insecure and need to be configured prior to connection to the outside world. The most basic of steps should always be taken, updating anti-virus software on a weekly basis, backing up networks and installing a hardware firewall are just some of the easiest options to employ as a counter measure.

The best answer to computer security is file and email encryption, this though, only providing that the computer system is firewall protected.

Bluetooth™ and Wireless connections

Wireless computer connections are high risk and can, if not set up correctly be intercepted at ease by external attack. This risk has been highly reported over the past two years, but many manufacturers have still failed to change the default settings of their devices, thus enabling other "attacking" systems to connect and download vital information such as address books and other files; all without the user's knowledge.

Overall what must be taken on board is that no one wants to work in a locked down environment, but in a secure one. All security recommendations need to be both affordable and workable, the simpler the better, realistic and in keeping with the level of possible threat.

Advanced Driving, Fleet Driver Assesments

“Incidents, accidents and poor standards of vehicle management cost lives and money”.

Intelligent Training International Limited have devised a flexible programme of assessment and education to assist your fleet in reducing costs from accidents and insurance claims along with raising the standards of driving.

Advanced driver training will benefit the overall service that you are able to give your client, it will also arm your workforce with the confidence of knowing that they are providing a complete and professional service to thier employers and clients. Our training is aimed at reducing not only the loss of personnel and vehicle by road traffic incidents and helps them to recognise a potential situation before it develops.

Annual driver assessments

Standards of driving and road sense are vital tools in any company or professional driver’s skill set. Assessment and monitoring are crucial to identify weakness and areas that need improvement, thus allowing preventative training and remedial action before an incident occurs.

Our assessment programme will allow these weaknesses to be identified on a one to one basis and form the backbone of any further instruction that is required.

Advanced driver training

Our team of former Police & Ex Military Advanced Driving Instructors will provide training to RoSPA Advanced Levels and support them through the RoSPA testing process. This will recede drivers attending a one day RoSPA test.

Drivers who pass the RoSPA advanced driving test will be awarded Bronze, Sliver or Gold awards respectively. These awards can now be upgraded to BTEC level 3 in Driver Development. Enabling professional drivers to improve and increase thier skills and employability

Our Aim

Training should not be about a qualification, for Intelligent Training International Limited; it’s more about instilling a mindset in our students, think safety, think ahead, plan and care – Insight not hindsight!

Your Benefits:

Having a structured award and assessment scheme not only gives your personnel a nationally recognised qualification, but will also aid the following:
  • Reduced accident losses
  • Reduced running costs
  • Better staff moral
  • Retention of personnel
  • Improved public image
  • Lower insurance costs 
  • RoSPA Advanced Drivers Test Certificate
  • BTEC Level 2 in Driver Development
Please contact us for details on how we can assist in your fleet training. This service is available worldwide and is at present operating in Europe the Middle East and Africa.

Fjallraven Barents Winter Trousers

Fjallraven Barents Winter Trousers, ideal for Trekking and hikking

Fjallraven Barents Winter Trousers are lined trekking trousers with regular waist and comfort fit.

Ideal for winter activities, trekking, walking, hiking or any outdoor mountain sport.
Reinforced rear and knees make them extra durable, Fjallraven Barents Winter Trousers also feature 7 pockets.

Safety pocket and are supplied in raw length.
Manufuactued in Sweden in Fjallraven G-1000® fabric, 65% polyester, 35% cotton; the Fjallraven Barents Winter Trousers are designed in comfort fir style with a warm, sorf and comfortable lining.

Fjallraven G-1000 fabric

G-1000 is Fjällräven´s own unique fabric and a classic ingredient in Fjällräven´s equipment. The densly woven fabric is a blend of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, making the material extremely hardwearing at the same time as it breathes well and dries quickly.

One of the G-1000 material´s greatest characteristics is its superior breathability, which particularly useful for active outdoor use. With the application of an environmentally friendly impregnation made from beeswax and paraffin, the material also becomes water and dirt repellent.

Finding the truth amid the chaos - Iraq

The chaos and carnage witnessed in Baghdad may seem a world away on television. But for Alex Bomberg whose company is based in Stonehouse, it’s a world which is very much closer to home.

His office may be in Gloucestershire but Alex is just a step away from Baghdad.

The 30-year-old former member of the Gloucestershire Regiment, who served in Kuwait, Bosnia and Cyprus, established International Intelligence Limited in 2001.

His company aims to provide clients with up-to-date intelligence using a variety of means – from observation to electronic intelligence gathering.

And at the moment six of his operatives are facing the harsh and often dangerous realities of daily life in Iraq, and reporting their situation on a daily basis.

Mr Bomberg said: “It’s pretty bad on the ground in Baghdad and we’re finding it’s getting a lot worse, compared with the southern region where the British are operating their hearts and minds policy.
“In the Tikrit region the situation is also worsening and my guy’s say it isn’t getting any better at all."

“The Americans are having a lot of problems and I really think it’s time for the UN to go in.”

Mr Bomberg’s company carries out a wide range of work both in Britain and abroad. It ranges from Matrimonial misunderstandings to financial investigations and litigation, and includes investigating the Nigerian Mafia.

His team of operatives are hand picked for the right job to match their skills and are mostly former members of the SAS, the secret service and the police force.

Earlier this year his staff in Iraq used their expertise to rescue six solicitors in Baghdad. Mr Bomberg said “they were in the wrong place at the wrong time with no back up. “The solicitors found themselves caught up in the wrong area of Baghdad, and a lot of the city is not under American control.

“Our guys are ex-SAS and don’t hang around, they are also quite well armed so they managed to extricate the solicitors to a safe place.”

Alex’s staff carry out a variety of work in Iraq, including ongoing investigations, and are planning on continuing in the country for the next couple of years.

At the moment they are bidding for a contract to provide close protection for judges and are beginning to train solicitors in espionage and counter intelligence.

Through his staff Mr Bomberg is in constant contact with the events in Iraq, and may be going to the country soon himself.

He said “ A lot of our people were there during the first Gulf conflict. Some of them have been working very closely with the likes of CNN and the embedded journalists, and we work closely with national newspapers too, as well as the BBC.

“ I think the repair of the country in all honesty, is all about awarding contracts to big companies. “There has been little work on the infrastructure, and in some areas water and power are non-existent.

“It’s a mess, and it’s a very dangerous place to be. The sooner the Americans leave the better. At the end of the day you have them running a country which really should be run by the Iraqi people.”
We’ve only made matters worse

By a former SAS Officer in Iraq with International Intelligence Limited

For Security reasons this former SAS officer, working for Stonehouse based International Intelligence Limited, cannot be identified – but here he describes first hand what life is like in the heart of Iraq….

So, being asked to write some words on Iraq, where does one start? I sit and write this in a small hotel in the centre of Baghdad bustling with the likes of CNN, Solicitors and, believe it or not Western Businessmen looking to make a fast buck.

I guess the story of Iraq today starts years ago with the Iran-Iraq war and the latter launched an invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraqi forces.

It is then that the real struggle for the Iraqi people really started, for up until that point it is true to say the Western world not only supported Sadam Hussain, but equipped his armies in support of the then aggressive Iran.

The invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War changed everything for the people of Iraq. Not only did they live in fear of the dictatorship of Sadam and his large family but now they had the added problem of sanctions against Iraq, sanctions that would affect each and every one of the Iraqi people, rich, or poor, man, woman and child.

Being a former member of the SAS makes it no less painful. It’s true to say that we are trained to kill at the blink of an eye, rescue and act as the British Governments surgical knife to deal with problems – but you try to be in Iraq and not be affected, not to think about it.

The sad reality of the aftermath of war – Iraq is being governed by a small number of Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) staff under the direction of corporate America.

The basic infrastructure of Iraq is still in ruins, 10 years of sanctions, food for oil and the dictatorship of Sadam have sent parts of Iraq back to the Stone Age.

As for the war, the British people were lied to a great deal, the facts spun and now Iraq lies raped, being put back together by a well-oiled US corporate machine.

And we ask ourselves why American servicemen are being targeted on a daily basis – American foreign policy, that why.

The whole way the Iraqi people have been portrayed is so very wrong. The world press makes a great deal about Ba’ath Party members, the truth being it was no different from my father being a member of the Tory Party in the 1980’s. If you wanted to get on in Iraq, you joined the Ba’ath Party.

The future of Iraq from my point of view? Some might say I’m a soldier what would I know?
Well I can see the look on the faces of the people of Iraq and we have made matters worse, not better.

Yes they wanted the regime change but not like this, not being occupied by a country fixed on oil and reconstruction contracts.

It’s time for the US-led CPA to leave Iraq in the hands of the people of Iraq, give them all the support and help they need, not dictate what company is going to ship oil or rebuild what school.

Not forgetting the good work of our own forces in southern Iraq, I feel a great personal loss at the loss of each life here and fear that we’re being led by the US, only fuelling further terrorist in years to come.
American foreign policy and the way the American soldier swans around Iraq is not exactly sowing the seeds of international relations or fostering an understanding between our two peoples.

International Intelligence Limited will continue its work in Iraq for the foreseeable future, providing close protection and investigation US corruption.

Hearts and minds policy is greatly needed here to end the bloodshed.

International Intelligence Limited employs a number of Iraqi nationals as drivers and interpreters, at least we too are doing our bit for the economy and helping foster a good working relationship with Iraqi individuals

Close Protection

Our Close protection bodyguards have during the last year, deployed to the following countries: Afghanistan, Africa, America, France, Greece, Iraq, Italy, India, Monaco, Oman, Spain and Switzerland.

Whatever your personal level of risk, kidnap & ransom or VIP executive protection; our close protection bodyguard service is tailored to suit our client’s requirements. Where needed, language and lifestyle considerations are taken in to account; female operatives can be supplied to suit any family needs and/or situations.

All of our close protection bodyguards have Military or Government service backgrounds and have vast experience in operations both overseas and within the UK

Intelligent Protection International Limited has deployed both single operatives and teams across the world in support of our client’s requirements. Further to this, our teams can be supported by Security trained drivers, technical surveillance counter measures TSCM and counter-surveillance in order to supply an all around service.

Inline with regulations, all of our close protection bodyguards deployed within the UK are qualified and hold SIA licenses.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Fjallraven Hunter Hydratic Jacket

Fjallraven Hunter Hydratic Jacket, Silent, wind and waterproof jacket with various pockets
Fjallraven Hunter Hydratic Jacket in silent, soft G-1000®. Wind and waterproof with Hydratic®. 2 large breast pockets, 2 side pockets with bellow pleats, 2 hand-warming pockets and 1 inner pocket.

Fjallraven Hunter Hydratic Jacket - Adjustable

The Fjallraven Hunter Hydratic Jacket features an adjustable waist and hem. Plus a fixed hood that can be rolled into the collar.

Designed with the outdoors in mind

Fjallraven jackets have been designed with the outdoors in mind; they are great for hiking, walking, wearing in the mountains or as tactical jacket for close protection - or even just as a great casual jacket.

Fjallraven G-1000 fabric

G-1000 is Fjällräven´s own unique fabric and a classic ingredient in Fjällräven´s equipment. The densly woven fabric is a blend of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, making the material extremely hardwearing at the same time as it breathes well and dries quickly.

One of the G-1000 material´s greatest characteristics is its superior breathability, which particularly useful for active outdoor use. With the application of an environmentally friendly impregnation made from beeswax and paraffin, the material also becomes water and dirt repellent.

Security – It’s a steal

Just how careless can directors get? Their computer security set-up may be regularly swept for viruses and bugging device at work. Cleaners and contractors vetted. Office photocopiers and fax machines might even get locked away each evening. But when working from home many directors rely on unsecured Web-based email. Meanwhile, their home computers could be allowing Trojan hacker programs to interrogate the hard disk

“We had a client whose company was worth around £5bn,” says Alex Bomberg, director of corporate security firm International Intelligence. “He had offices around the world. Yet was working from home, using a computer that his 15-year-old son was using to surf for pornography. You have to have a secure email address and computer,” he says.

Security - or the lack of it – is increasingly making bosses nervous. A new survey by security company Kroll for Director reveals that directors are more worried about intellectual property (IP) theft than any other business threat. One difficulty with British IP theft, in particular, says Jeremy Hertzog. IP partner at law firm Mishcon de Reya, is that it gets looked at by too many departments. “The most switched-on companies have a dedicated person. But less experienced companies will have everyone from the finance director to the brand manager involved.” He adds: “Most are alive to the issue, but some perceive it as throwing good money after bad,” says Hertzog.

Another threat raised in the Director/Kroll survey is that insolvency among key clients or suppliers. But directors could take more action against being dragged down by suppliers or third party crime. Although the UK is generally perceived as disclosure-friendly as far as information is concerned, vetting is worse than useless if the information itself is out-of-date. A supplier may have been around for three years, but might have only filed only one year’s accounts.

Chris Morgan-Jones, head of the Central and Eastern European practice at Kroll, says you can check out your suppliers or partners without spending too much cash by using the Web. “People expect greater stringency. It is now normal business protocol (to ask more questions about new business partners), he says.

He also advises directors to devour all the information they can on new or potential trading partners. “Develop someone in-house who has a flair for research and have them trained on what other sources you can use to establish whether customers or suppliers are bona fide. Don’t underestimate the power of Google; use press databases; check to see if there’s any indication of precedent for bad behaviour”.

Turing your attention to the security of others can be daunting and can also reflect badly on the state of your own business. Pinpointing your own weaknesses could even make you liable for damages, points out Peter Power of corporate specialists Visor Consultants. “Often when you have a one-to-one with a director you can get a strong sense of apathy. It’s an apathy born out of not wishing to look. Once you do you are duty-bound to record these things, and if you do, a lawyer can beat you over the head with it.”

Companies employing more than seven people are obliged to carry out full risk assessments that deal with everyday, real-world risk as opposed to terrorist attack. “Under health and safety regulation,” says Power, “if you fail to warn staff of certain security risks, they can now sue you.”

IP Theft

It’s startling how frequently basic IP mistakes are made, like being drawn into disclosing information without a basic confidentiality agreement, say’s Tony Bowdery, director of IP at security and risk management specialist QinetiQ. “The biggest pitfall is a brainstorming exercise conducted outside the company. You go away, find out that the other side has filed a patent application, and you’re on the back foot,” he says.
British inventor Mandy Haberman experienced IP theft first-hand in August 1998 after she had developed Anywayup™, a children’s trainer-cup with a clever non-drip valve that meant there were no spills when the cup was tipped. After an expensive patent process Haberman’s cup hit the stores, and went on to sell close to 10 million a year worldwide. But just 18 months after the launch, another company one Haberman had previously approached for a licensing agreement – launched a similar product. Haberman successfully sued, but the experience underlined the importance of IP protection.

“IP is a currency business so it’s essential to really understand it,” she says. “Innovation protected by IP is where commercial value lies. But there’s no point having patents unless you can afford to enforce them – insurance is a must-have against infringement.”

Work is being done to reduce the cost of enforcement and there is talk of creating more affordable insurance for patents, though it is some way off, say’s Haberman. “Most fledgling businesses can’t afford it. But on the other hand, can they afford to not insure?” Start-ups are most vulnerable, she warns. “The reality is that big companies don’t look at the quality of your patents, they look at the depth of your pockets. If you don’t have the wherewithal to enforce your rights, they’ve no respect for you IP.”

Financial Forensics

Finding a good business partner is critical, and if you’re expanding overseas, the risk can rise dramatically. Are your suppliers or partners financially solid? Are you confident that they would not attempt to undermine your business? And how would you know anyway?

Financial and reputation forensics might sound an expensive exercise, but much comes down to common-sense. Kroll’s Morgan-Jones say’s business shouldn’t underestimate its own power to seek out information. “Even in the Ukraine, where information is scarce, you can find out about people just about everywhere. Do due diligence; be assertive about your own rights. Verifying information about someone is a lot easier than having no information to go on at all,” he say’s.

Data mining is a relatively new concept which can help identify suspicious transactions, from duplicate payments to multiple invoicing. But few companies make use of it, say’s Andrew Durant, forensic accounting partner at accountants BDO Stoy Hayward.

As for vetting potential new staff, Wayne Anthony, director of forensic accounting at Smith & Williamson, urges directors to pick up the phone. “Job applicants might give you the name of an alleged previous employer, but a false address. If you write to them they will simply write back saying the applicant was great. Check on the internet, ring them up directly – cut out the early stage.”

Watch out, too, for companies that charge VAT when they’re not VAT registered, warns International Intelligence’s Bomberg. “Check with a commercial information provider such as Dun and Bradstreet or Companies House”, he advises.

Software that can draw relationships between people and companies, such as i2 Analyst’s Notebook, can also help directors get a fix on people and their backgrounds, adds Durant.

Computer Crime

“Spend enough money and you can intercept anything sent electronically”. “Spending thousands on computer hacking to electronic surveillance may seem steep, but if you’re bidding for a contract and you can have a sight of your opponent’s tender documenters, the cost might seem a barging – albeit an illegal one”. “Too many people think it will never happen to them”. “The British in particularly, think no one is out to shaft them” says Bomberg. One of the biggest problems, he adds, is combating mobile phone cameras, which can discreetly snap pictures of sensitive material in detail.

Norman Bolton, former Scotland Yard special operations detective who now heads the technical risk department at risk management company C2i International, warns that it is just the sort of technology that may underestimate. “The original document is still intact to allay suspicion, but a copy has been made and can get out onto the Web,” he says.

Most difficult, he continues, is that there are no business privacy laws in the UK. “There is no legislation which says, ‘thou shalt not bug eavesdrop’. Therefore the police are forced to tailor the 1968 Theft Act to counter industrial espionage. You commit no offence putting a Dictaphone in a boardroom and retrieving it afterwards. But if you enter the building and connect the device to the electricity supply, then you commit the theft of electricity.” A programme of de-bugging can be initiated, he says but it needs to be kept up.

Another issue is how responsibility can unravel between departments, according to Peter Power. An IT manager may think security is down to the security director, while the security director thinks it’s an IT issue. “These are often gaps between the non-physical assets, such as brand guardianship, and the physical theft of equipment,” Power adds.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Spies in the boardroom

Not a week goes by without our offices receiving one or more telephone calls from around the world asking if something is technically possible.

Almost anything is technically possible in espionage when you are dealing with multi-billion pound litigation cases, mergers and accusations or intellectual property rights. A budget of £100k will buy a package of email interception and telephone tapping for a month; while this amount sounds quite high, when involved in a hostile takeover or litigation worth hundreds of Millions of pounds it makes good financial sense to some when they are involved in takeover or litigation worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Many working within the public security sector or defence industry understand little about espionage or the little that they do know is well out of date. Espionage is a very fast moving sector. Each innovation in communications leads to another way of interception, every time microprocessors get smaller and faster covert eavesdropping devices get smaller and smarter.

Almost every day, we at International Intelligence Limited asked how people can communicate safely and our answer always remains the same – “you are far safer talking over your fence to your neighbour than you are making a telephone call, sending an email or fax. All forms of electronic communication can be intercepted at some level or another”.

This may sound a little over the top or scare mongering, but the fact is that a low cost covert transmitter placed within a company’s boardroom can cost the target company millions in lost deals, legal cases or intellectual property theft.

Understanding the basic principles of espionage and human nature is a good start for secure working practices and a basis of an organisations housekeeping policy.

Corporate responsibility
Many organisations and companies fall at the very first hurdle and lack basic internal and external security. For example, can you be certain how many members of your staff would challenge a stranger walking around the office with a clip board under arm or wearing a hard hat and workman’s vest?

It is a good start therefore to have a basic policy of staff identity cards worn at all time is a good start, it is the duty of all staff to make this policy work. What’s the use of having a security policy that is costly, difficult to implement and impractical?

One firm that we recently visited had a sound security policy, CCTV and static security guards checking everyone at reception. Great, you may think, yet we gained access to the offices and boardroom via the fire escape that was propped open by a chair that gave workers access to a place to have a quick smoke.

At the end of the day a security policy is only as good as the staff within the building – it is everyone’s responsibility, from Cleaner and Typist to the CEO.

Espionage is on the increase in the UK and is on the increase, over the past five years, there have been a number of public cases that have involved accusations of bugging, email interception, telephone tapping or waste theft.

Espionage and the Law
In the UK there are no specific laws that cover espionage and therefore any prosecutions have to be carried out under other laws. For example if you were caught tapping a telephone line you could be arrested under a number of acts, you could be arrested under Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights, Interception of Communication Act 1995/ Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. You might be prosecuted for theft of electricity from the telephone provider and trespass.

Company’s which employ investigators in support of litigation cases may run into problems over how intelligence gained is going to be used in court. As all evidence has to be disclosed to the opposition in the case, any which has been obtained unlawfully may be discounted by a judge and action taken against the party submitting it. This happened in the Dubai Aluminium case, when an investigator was employed to obtain bank details in breach of the Data Protection Act 1984 which was then in force.

A recent case where telephone tapping/interception took place was St Merryn Meats Ltd and others vs. Hawkins and Others ([2001 ALL ER (D) 355) where evidence was gained by bugging a person’s home telephone. The court held that this was unlawful, as it constituted an offence under the Interception of Communications Act 1995 which has been replaced by the Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

It is, therefore, probably more sensible and less stressful to avoid the need for litigation in the first place and there are ten basic steps that any organisation can take to secure its operations. These are easy to follow and, far more importantly, easy to implement.

Steps to counter espionage
The first step to counter espionage is to identify the strengths and weaknesses within your organisation or company in order to help develop a sound security policy, based on findings.
  • All departments’ should have cross shredding type shredders because the waste from strip shredders can be placed back together with a little work.
  • All documents should be locked away in secure cabinets prior to the end of each day.
  • Programmes for encryption of email and files to government standards can be downloaded free from the Internet.
  • Documentation concerning sensitive issues, mergers or takeovers should never leave the workplace unless signed out and secured.
  • A CCTV system giving internal and external coverage will put off any illegal activities and deter the opportunist.
Never open email attachments from unknown sources as these may contain Trojan viruses that can be used to attach your computer from within. Always update your anti virus software and make sure all staff are aware of this risk as viruses can spread on networked systems at speed.
  1. Changing from analogue to digital or normal copper pair to fibre-optic telecommunications will foil attempts to intercept telephone or fax lines.
  2. The wearing of Staff and Visitor ID will enable all workers to identify persons that do not belong in a given sector or are unaccompanied.
  3. A Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TSCM) Sweep of offices should always form part of a good housekeeping policy as it is designed to find any devices placed within communications systems or offices.
During the course of a year, we hear the same excuses from people who are convinced that their companies’ security policies are adequate and that they need to take no action to update their systems. These include the old myths such as their company not being a target, phone tapping being too expensive to worry about and the belief that they are safe because they work from home.

They ignore the fact that no organisation is too large or too small to be targeted. The very nature of business competitiveness means that people will want to know your secrets, what your new product is, who your clients are and what you charge them.

They ignore the fact that directors who work from home are softer targets for telephone and email interception.

What they should be doing is working out what their last contract was worth and what it would mean to them if they lost it to Joe Bloggs up the road.

Don’t arm terrorist

Alex Bomberg and John Bradridge reveal how UK security manufactures should guard against their equipment falling into the wrong hands.

In the defence industry today more then any other, due diligence must play a vital roll in the war against terror and, as part of any company’s housekeeping policy, it should be employed at the initial stages of any joint venture and agent selection.

While the task of carrying out due diligence can involve complex networks of ownership, directors and links to government officials, in some ways common sense is the first indicator.
It is a fact that people do more to carry out checks on potential partners in relationships than they do when it comes to financial deals and business partnerships, but what could once have been sealed with a handshake now requires a series of checklists, meetings, decisions and the added cost of peace of mind.

So what is due diligence? It is best described as: “The process of systematically evaluating information, to identify risks and issues relating to a proposed transaction, i.e. to verify that information is what it is proposed to be”.

Due diligence definition
Due diligence must in every case be measured, reasonable investigation into a company, group of companies or individuals to obtain intelligence which allows you to make an informed decision based on what you have discovered, without being totally reliant on it.

The definition of due diligence is simple. What is not simple is how to carry it out, when to carry it out or even how much should be built into the budget to pay for carrying it out.

But what link does this all have with terror, you might ask? The answer is that in 2004/5, there were two cases where separate companies both sold defence products to companies in the Middle East. Items from both companies have since been found on dead Taliban fighters and an investigation is underway by the authorities.

Due diligence checklist
Due diligence can be split down in to sections:
  • Company information - director's names, formation and ownership details
  • Financial information - current turnover and past returns
  • Legal history - judgements past, present or pending
  • Political risk indication - country and region
While the above can be broken down further into complex discussions and argument, it represents the fundamental basics of what needs to be investigated to help with decision-making. Every company can undertake a level of due diligence at no cost whatsoever just by having a set standard in place and a check list for every supplier, agent or end-user. This information must, of course, be verified, but just asking for it will in itself add to a company's security.

Prior to any business relationship, basic information should be requested in a formal document drawn up as part of either a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or as a stand-alone document. Gathering copies of documentation and basic information will act as basis, the start of a lengthy process that will culminate in founded decision.

A formal request should be made for the following
  • Names, addresses and dates and places of birth of all company directors
  • Past employment of directors
Names, addresses and dates and places of birth of all company shareholders (non-listed companies)
  • Company formation documentation
  • Company structure
  • Company insurance documentation
  • Office locations and registered head office
Any company being asked to submit the above information will, if intending to commit any fraud or unlawful act, think twice before proceeding with any transaction.

Available today on the internet is a vast arsenal of information which is easy to use and can save a company thousands of pounds on the cost of due diligence. Understanding how search engines work can be daunting, but the basics for finding out information are quite simple and rudimentary facts can be obtained via this method.

However, corporate investigation or intelligence gathering is only a part of due diligence because financial data needs to be examined just as filly for abnormal, unexplained rises or falls in turnover or profit. Whilst Companies House in the UK can be a great source of information on a UK-registered company, many other countries do not have what can be described as reasonable company registration procedures.

International due diligence
Where a country does not have an easily accessible database of listed companies, and financial or tax returns listings, the process of due diligence becomes more complex and expert help is required.

Many UK companies call on the service of business intelligence providers to carry out due diligence on their behalf and, while a report may be forthcoming, the report in all its glory cannot in itself be relied upon when making a final financial decision; this can only be up to the instructing party.

Unovering legal history can also be a headache even in most economically developed countries; it’s a case of knowing where to look for the information. Many companies are not going to quickly volunteer any legal complication they may have had in the past, yet this area is key to the success of any possible relationship.

Since the internet has evolved, the task of uncovering legal history has in some cases become easier and misdemeanours, case history and legal judgements are also reported on within the national, local and business press. However, this may not be the case in some jurisdictions and, in the age of jet travel, it is perfectly possible that some individual or groups of individuals may have committed and/or been charged with a crime in another part of the world. The possibility of this happening should not be overlooked or underestimated.

Political risk?
Political risk indicators about whether a particular country or region is stable should also be examined. Always ask yourself whether a sudden change of government, government policy or law in the country concerned would put an end to any deal you may have been planning?

This area is far from uncomplicated. Our own government often fails to read or judge what is happening and little foresight is a poor excuse and is no defence for not trying to address this issue or, at the very least, to consider the implications. History is often not that good an indicator of possible upheaval; so keeping abreast of changes in the laws of a country is more a matter of having your finger on the pulse, investigation and monitoring situations as they develop.

But remember – any due diligence report is only a snapshot in time, so fresh investigations should be carried out at regular intervals to identify changes in company directors, ownership and company direction.

Alex Bomberg is a member of the Royal United Services Institute and an expert in intelligence gathering and counter espionage.
John Bradridge is a former senior Police Officer. They both work for Cotswold-based International Intelligence Limited which acts for corporate and govenment clients.