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Asset Tracing and Recovery

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

Private Detective Agency Tracing and Recovery service penetrate efforts to shield cash, real estate, corporate holdings, financial instruments, commodities, and other tangible and intangible assets from discovery. We are experts in tracing funds and identifying assets through the most complex of money laundering schemes and corporate structures. Our findings have helped clients establish the asset position of parties in contract disputes, enforce international arbitration awards, and recover assets in the aftermath of litigation and arbitration, complex frauds and banking collapses. The satisfactory resolution of commercial disputes, or the recovery of the proceeds of fraud and embezzlement, frequently depends on successfully tracing and recovering assets. The location and ownership of those assets are often obscured through complex corporate, nominee or trust structures, and disbursed across multiple jurisdictions.

We achieve results by bringing to bear the combined expertise of global resources in business intelligence and investigations. Our engagement teams combine specialists in investigative research, forensic accounting, financial analysis, intelligence analysis, and insolvency and cyber security, allowing them to break through obfuscations. The ability of our global teams to work cohesively as an integrated unit makes us particularly effective in solving cross-border cases.

Successful asset tracing and recovery almost always occur as part of a larger legal strategy and ensures that our efforts are focused on those assets which are of the most strategic value. Our experience working with law firms and general counsel makes us well-versed in identifying, compiling and preparing evidence that will stand up to scrutiny in a variety of legal proceedings and across jurisdictions.

When it comes to repossession of property, it is not a collection of judgments. While part of it revolves around this, a good private investigator knows that if your case is based on the execution of a judgment, then that property is more than likely long gone. Property restitution includes specialized knowledge along with the simultaneous application of customary and civil litigation tactics, investigative principles, forensic accounting techniques, insolvency options, foreclosure schemes, and strategies and knowledge-driven thinking.

Our team of private detectives will have a questionable mind, cultural sensitivity, flexibility, resilience, adaptability and a lot of patience. While you may see patience as a virtue in other areas of life, reclaiming property can be a slow process. If you want to hire a private detective to help you with property restitution investigations, accepting a possible slow time frame is an option. While your private investigator can work as fast as he or she can, there can be many legal procedures that a private investigator may have observed as they unfold before moving forward.

Case Study – Investigating a € 200 Million Fraud

A Prague-based financial institution and its external counsel approached our agency, Private Detective Agency, regarding an apparent €200 million loss in its London-based fixed-income trading team. We conducted an onsite financial investigation to establish whether the bank had suffered a fraud; identify potential wrongdoers and beneficiaries, and provide forensic evidence to help initiate legal proceedings in London to freeze assets and obtain disclosure. Over a two-year period, we worked with the client and their legal advisors to obtain further disclosure to trace the proceeds of the fraud and to identify further assets that could be subject to recovery. We also utilized our international network to identify assets purchased with the proceeds of the fraud through investigative research and local source inquiries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North and South America. The assets identified included high-end property in London and Switzerland, classic cars, shares, diamonds, antiques and other chattels. Our findings were used to support a civil fraud claim filed in the UK and additional proceedings initiated in several other jurisdictions. The judgment was found in favour of the client and has resulted in the recovery of a significant portion of the amount sought.

Case Study – Asset Search on Behalf of a Multi-National Energy Corporation

A multinational energy corporation retained our agency Private Detective Agency

to conduct an asset search, in anticipation of an international arbitration award in its favour following a dispute with a Latin American government and its state-controlled oil monopoly. Our team sought to identify non-immune assets that were demonstrably and directly controlled by the state corporation in jurisdictions that we (and the client’s attorneys)believed would recognize the arbitration award and grant attachment orders. We identified corporate assets (subsidiaries and joint ventures), fixed assets, receivables from customers, and oil tankers that belonged to the subject entities. Our investigation helped the client’s counsel secure pre-award attachment orders in several jurisdictions, thereby preserving several valuable assets for possible recovery.

Case Study – Identification of Non-Immune, Seizable Assets

Private Detective Agency was retained by a multinational company to identify

non-immune seizable assets belonging to a sovereign country. The company has been awarded over $100 million in arbitration. To date, Private Investigator Switzerland has identified assets worth several billion dollars that can be classified as non-immune. The assets are located in several different countries in the form of cash in bank accounts, commercial businesses, properties and receivables.

Why hire a private investigator for your property return investigation?

Fraudsters and other fraudsters are low on the ethical scale. They will often use tactics to bring a person down to their level or will use their skills to tarnish your reputation as part of their defence. Private Detective Agency has impeccable ethics and expertise to circumvent these acts of corruption. While your legal team may be attacked for the legal process itself, a private investigator will work in secret. Private investigators also work with or without any court sanction. That is why they must constantly adhere to higher standards. This helps private investigators avoid the need to repel attacks from the parties they are investigating.

Private Detective Agency

Schaffhauserstrasse 550., Postfach,

CH-8050 Zürich



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