Private Investigator Case Study | Verify Ethical Supply Chain
Private Investigators Note: Some case details have been changed to maintain client privacy
Requested Private Investigation Service(s):
- Verify Cambodian Government Documents (Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft)
- Verify Ethical Supply Chain in Cambodia (Cambodian garment manufacturing industry)
Client: East Asia-based global business information company (not the “Beneficiary Client”)
Beneficiary Client (BC): Europe-HQ’ed retailer/multinational corporation with revenue $1B+ and 1,000+ stores
Subject 1: Chinese national, male, 50-60 (estimated), reported to be licensed to manufacture garments in Kandal province
Subject 2: Chinese national, female, 40s-50s (estimated), reported to be licensed to manufacture garments in Phnom Penh municipality
Subject 3: Khmer (Cambodian) national, male, 40s-50s (estimated), reported to be licensed for industrial machinery in Prey Veng province
Criminal / Civil Code Violation(s): n/a
(BC) retained Client to verify its ethical supply chain(s) in Cambodia which was originally reported to originate from three (3) separate locations:
- in Kandal province (approximately a 1-hour drive south from the capital of Phnom Penh);
- in Phnom Penh Municipality;
- in Prey Veng province (in southern Cambodia, neighboring Vietnam);
Client frequently outsources its cases requiring due diligence and/or private investigation in Cambodia to Phnom Penh Investigations (PPI).
Client provided PPI with three (3) separate licenses issued by the Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH) along with the reported names of the businesses/factories, the reported addresses and reported owners.
Upon initial examination of the aforementioned MIH licenses (Client did not have a Khmer translator available), PPI staff informed Client the reported Prey Veng business had in fact a Svay Rieng address on the certificate and was authorized for garment manufacturing and not industrial machinery.
Furthermore, the Svay Rieng (MIH) license did not contain the reported business owner’s name but appeared to be issued to a separate individual.
PPI assigned a lead investigator (“LI”; Khmer national) who was dispatched to the MIH office in Phnom Penh for verification.
Upon arrival, (LI) noted that MIH continues to operate without an online database which requires a physical match (manual verification) of each factory/business license.
(LI) was assisted by the head of SME registration who conducted the manual verification and observed the following discrepancies:
- Kandal factory was operating with an expired license and had a past due, unpaid renewal fee ($350)*;
- Phnom Penh factory license was in order;
- Svay Rieng factory license was in order but was within its 30 day renewal window and had not yet requested an extension (potentially forfeiting its license and requiring a re-application)*;
*The Client was notified of a licensing anomaly on the aforementioned certificates due to MIH registration on the sub-ministry level (registered on the district level where MIH offices often operate autonomously).
Client informed (BC) which in turn had no further questions.
NOTE: (BC) did not request an on-site investigation and only license verification.
End of Private Investigator Case Study.