Locate a person: our experience
Since Veriton Investigations began as a provider of private investigator services, “locate-a-person” has been a regular business. The majority of our requests come from lawyers for probate purposes or the serving of legal documents (known as a ‘locate and serve’).
Given that many of our cases are multi-jurisdictional, Veriton has traced people not only in Hong Kong, but also Macau, China, UK, Canada and USA.
What types of people have we been asked to find?
Our skills in tracing people have been used to find:
- Wanted persons
- Missing person, and
- Lost relatives
Our most common request is to locate individuals on which lawyers wish to serve legal documents. In this respect, this is an “add-on” service to our process serve business.
Challenges to locate a person in Hong Kong
Hong Kong can be an awkward place to locate a person. There are comparatively few large, publicly available databases to search in. Additionally, over the years, data privacy laws have been strengthened in line with increased global expectations of privacy.
To complicate matters, Hong Kong is trilingual. Its three languages are English, Cantonese, and Putonghua (Mandarin). Furthermore, there are two distinct ways to write Chinese characters—either Traditional or Simplified.
Changing technology has also impeded the ability to search using traditional methods. As an example, direct line telephones in homes and listings in telephone directories have become almost extinct.
What do I do if I need to locate someone?
Are you wanting to find a missing person?
If you are, please contact us and we will email you a form that we have developed specifically for the location of individuals. We use it to gather information from you about the subject you wish to locate.
We ask for a range of information including last-known addresses, passport or ID numbers, photos, date of birth, close friends and relatives, details of driving licences and any club memberships. Please include the missing person’s Chinese characters for their name.
We build a picture of the pseron to be located from the data provided. It also provides key indicators to our investigators as to where they should begin looking.
Importantly, we also use the form to establish that you have a legitimate reason for our investigators to locate the missing person. For instance, we do not want to put you in touch with someone that has a court order against you, prohibiting you from approaching them.
Examples of successful locate services
Hong Kong • Ontario, Canada • New York USA
An early success, involved locating three elderly members of a Hong Kong family. They had left Hong Kong more than 30 years ago.
We traced two of them to an address in Ontario and the third to a leafy suburb of New York.
The breakthrough came when we discovered that one of them still owned a flat on Hong Kong Island where all three had lived many years previously.
A manager of the apartment complex still remembered the family as one of them was a well-known local architect.
Calls to architect professionals provided the final clue to identifying the new addresses.
Hong Kong • Vancouver, Canada
One of our most satisfying cases was also multi-jurisdictional. It emanated from a Canadian Government agency. After two unsuccessful searches, we were the third company tasked to locate a family of four siblings in Hong Kong. They were due to inherit a significant sum from a long-deceased uncle. The uncle had passed away more than 40 years ago.
After 10 months, the case was solved.