The initial request for help usually comes to Signum from one of the Club’s executives. The problem is identified and relevant documents are studied. A high value container or its cargo may have gone missing somewhere along its six or seven thousand mile journey across the world.
Preliminary enquiries may be made through the Club’s network of correspondents or with the Member’s local agent. The investigator may contact law enforcement colleagues from one of the international professional bodies of which he is a member. All this may give a fair indication of where the problem lies before he boards a plane.
Arrangements will be made to interview everyone involved in the handling or movement of the cargo in the place where it is believed to have gone missing. Local agents or correspondents provide office facilities and the investigator will work closely with them perhaps for the next week or two. He may have to work with the state, town or perhaps the local port police or customs and exise offcers.
The investigator must be sensitive to the interests of the Member. For example, if an investigation at a port involves common problems experienced by different Members, each Member is treated as a separate client and the confidentiality of their interests is respected accordingly.
With hard work the investigator will return home having solved the problem. He will then prepare a detailed report. The cause of the problems will be explained to the Member and he will be advised of preventative action which should be taken to avoid recurrence.