Channel 3 News in New Zealand

Private investigators meet in Auckland TV Appearance

3 News in New Zealand

The World Association of Detectives is holding its 89th annual conference in Auckland this week.
Private detectives and security consultants from around the world are gathering to discuss new investigative techniques, and how technology is changing their industry.

Visiting private investigator and child retrieval expert Keith Schafferius recently turned his 45 years of experience into a book, The Retriever. He says most child abductions are carried out by parents, usually as the result of a marriage break-up.

“Almost all of the cases I handle are the result of interracial marriages,” he said on Firstline this morning.
“It’s becoming more and more prevalent – [children] being taken back to either the mother’s or the father’s country where they were born or where they lived.” But he can’t rescue every child, and his methods don’t always follow the letter of the law.

“I accept about three out of five cases, after I do my own due diligence on the case – have a look at the situation the child is living in, the situation where the child was abducted from,” he says.

“The others either I can’t get into the country or there’s no possibility of retrieving that child and smuggling the child out. Almost all of them are smuggled out of the country – not through immigration – and the last such case was last week, out of Turkey.”
And though it’s traumatising for parents, it’s usually worse for their children. “There’s all sorts of horrific stories told to the children – your mum’s dead, your father was killed in an accident and he’s no longer here,” says Mr Schafferius.

Keith Schafferius on 3 News New Zealand
Keith Schafferius on 3 News New Zealand

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One of the topics up for discussion at this week’s conference is how technology is making their jobs easier in some ways, but harder in others.
“Everyone seems to be on social media these days, on Facebook or whatever,” says Mr Schafferius .

“Even myself, I can no longer hide my identity – if someone looks up my name, it’s pages and pages on Google, so quite often I use other names and have different identifications when I’m in other countries that I operate in.”

The World Association of Detectives conference at Sky City Convention Centre started yesterday and runs until Sunday.

Read more about private investigation cases concerning child abductionsWAD Investigator of the Year 2013