Council of International Investigators

Watching the Detectives...

- written by Nancy Barber

Submitted by the Continuing Education Committee


A former NYPD sergeant-turned-private eye was among eight people charged with illegally participating in a Chinese government program that seeks to force expatriates to return to China to face prosecution.

A federal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court alleged that Michael McMahon, a private detective licensed in New Jersey, was hired in October 2016 to “investigate and surveil” a former city government official from China living New Jersey.

McMahon later joined in the alleged stalking of the target — identified only as “John Doe-1” — as part of a failed campaign of coercion and intimidation that included bringing the ex-pat’s elderly father to the US and leaving a threatening note taped to the front door of his house, court papers said. “If you are willing to go back to the mainland and spend 10 years in prison, your wife and children will be all right. That’s the end of this matter!” the note said in Chinese.

The scheme was part of a Chinese program called “Operation Fox Hunt” to “forcibly repatriate PRC citizens living in the United States and other countries who are wanted in the PRC for allegedly committing various crimes,” court documents say. The program has seen operatives regularly flout US law, despite “repeated warnings” to Beijing, the papers charge. 

See 'Private eye busted in Chinese government plot is an ex-NYPD sergeant' and 'Five people accused of working in U.S. for Chinese secret police'


At the height of recent U.S. election, many investigators found employment not only in the traditional “political investigation” but a broader effort to challenge the validity of the election. 

A Texas investigator was retained to prove voter fraud claims.  A former Houston, Texas police captain, who remains licensed by the State of Texas was accused of holding an innocent air conditioner repairman at gunpoint after running him off the road in an attempt to locate fraudulent ballots.

The Harris County District Attorney “His alleged investigation was backward from the start-first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”  The private investigator-Mark Anthony Aguirre-was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.  Aguirre was one of 20 investigators that were hired to look into potential voting misconduct nearly every day leading up to the election.

Aguirre related to police he was part of a group of private citizens called Liberty Center, who were conducting a civilian investigation into the alleged ballot scheme.  Aguirre conducted surveillance on the victim, and developed a theory that the air conditioning repairman, and detained him by ramming his van and forcing the driver to the ground.  Upon inspection, the truck contained only air conditioning parts and tools.  The investigation was part of a larger unsuccessful lawsuit to have Harris County ballots tossed.

See: and 'GOP donor linked to bogus electoral-fraud probe charged  with assault'


A private investigator revealed that a British tabloid paid him large sums of money to spy on Meghan Markle at the onset of her relationship with Prince Harry.

Daniel Portley-Hanks, who is now a retired private investigator out of Los Angeles, was hired by The Sun to obtain private information about Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex.  The investigator illegally obtained Meghan Markle’s social security number and other sensitive information

The paper’s invoices by Portley-Hanks in which he was paid $2,055 included charges for information he obtained through the restricted database service TLOxp where addresses, cell phone numbers, and social security numbers can be found. The private information of Markle, her family, and her ex-husband were located and sold.

The U.S. allows this information to be used in criminal and civil cases. However, it is against the law for such sensitive intelligence to be sold to news agencies.  See 'Private investigator admits to illegally spying on Meghan Markle on behalf of British tabloid' and 'Private investigator says he skirted laws to get info on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex'.


The mayor’s office in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, was fined $1.4 million for sending the personal information of protest organizers to foreign diplomats whose countries were the targets of those political demonstrations, the European country’s data protection commission announced Friday.

Among the countries that received such sensitive data was Russia, where authorities are accused of increasingly cracking down on its critics. The national commission ruled that the fine was justified based on the 225 instances in which Lisbon authorities violated the General Data Protection Regulation. The practice of data-sharing, which dates as far back as 2012 under a previous mayoral administration, became illegal after the sweeping set of data-protection laws were enacted across the European Union in 2018. Nevertheless, data-sharing continued until last year.

See 'Lisbon fined $1.4 million for sharing personal data of protesters'. 

Say it ain't so.....California votes to hide criminal histories after four years!  Read here:


Presidential Nominee Toine Goorts

Toine is the current President of CII (2022-2023) seeking re-election for 2023-2024. Toine has been a member of CII for 14 years, including five years on the Board, two years as Vice President, and service as Secretary to the organization. Toine understands CII. In his own words:

 “Our members form an extremely valuable intellectual base. I want to ensure that our knowledge and experience stays alive. The last year was a year of opening up again. We took the first steps to get back in the game and meet again. The first meeting in Portugal was a great success. Our meeting in Haarlem will be as well. The Council is still healthy, but the last three years have taken a huge toll on the organization and its members. With your support, I will continue to work hard to further grow and keep the Council the trustworthy organization is has always been and still is. Support and trust are the keywords for the upcoming year. I hope you will give me the chance to make this happen, together with all of you.”

 Board nominees 2023-2025

The four (4) nominees to the 2023-2025 Board are listed in alphabetical order as follows:


 Christopher Ballou, United States

Christopher Ballou was one of the founders of Patriot Group Global, a boutique white glove security services provider to fortune 500 companies and private family offices. In June of 2022, the Patriot Group joined with Crisis24, a GardaWorld Company creating a global champion providing protective, investigative, intelligence and consulting services around the globe. Chris is a retired Detective First Grade from the NYPD Counterterrorism Division and a former US Marine Sergeant serving in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in Southwest Asia. He is also a Certified Protection Professional (CPP™), Project Management Professional (PMP™) and a Certified International Investigator (CII™).  In his spare time, Chris enjoys spending time with his family and tackling endurance events. Chris completed the Atacama Crossing, Gobi March, Eco-Challenge, Grand to Grand and numerous ultra-marathon events. Chris can be reached at [email protected] 


Ronald Bosman, Switzerland

Ronald Bosman is an investigator with over 15 years of experience in corporate investigations, business intelligence and geopolitical analysis. He has a master’s degree in history from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and is an ACAMS certified anti-money laundering specialist. Ronald is based in Switzerland, from where he and his research team also cover the Benelux market, the Dutch Caribbean, Germany, Spain and beyond. Prior to founding Sourced Research & Consulting, Ronald worked as a consultant at the corporate investigations department of a global risk management consultancy, where he managed enhanced due diligence investigations and complex investigations in support of litigation procedures. Ronald started his career with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Americas Department. Originally from the Netherlands, Ronald has lived and worked in the United States, Spain, Colombia and Venezuela. He has been based in Switzerland since 2012. Ronald speaks English, Dutch, Spanish and German. Ron can be reached at [email protected]


 Jeremy King, Canada

Jeremy H. King, B. Comm, CII, is a Partner and Executive Vice President of King International Advisory Group. Jeremy oversees the surveillance and cyber intelligence divisions at KIAG and is responsible for the agency’s international development, which include partner relationships in over 56 countries worldwide. A licensed private investigator since 2011, Mr. King has acted as a trusted investigative advisor to many of Canada’s foremost litigators, private corporations, and public entities. He is highly active in investigations of serious nature requiring extreme discretion and professionalism. Most recently, Mr. King was retained in a class action lawsuit leading to Canada’s first known Mareva Injunction targeting cryptocurrency. Through social media investigations, the targets of the Mareva injunction were identified and evidence was gathered on the additional crypto custodians.

An avid supporter and contributor to CII since his membership began in 2016, Jeremy looks forward to joining the executive board to help further the growth of the organization that has welcomed him since his days as a young child. Jeremy’s father, Brian D. King, has twice been President of CII, and Jeremy has been attending various AGMs and regional meetings since he was old enough to walk, providing a unique view of the organization’s growth over the last 30 years. If fortunate enough to be selected for a board position, Jeremy looks forward to utilizing his Bachelor of Commerce degree in marketing to help grow the exposure and stature of CII – the organization he believes to be the very best in the world. Jeremy can be reached at [email protected]


Ajit Singh, India

Ajit has 30 years of experience in the Investigation & Consulting industry. Ajit was awarded “Investigation Entrepreneur of the year Award’ by the President of India in 2012. In his own words, “I know what it means to be a business owner. I have served as the National General Secretary of the APDI (Association of Private Detective & Investigators-India) since 2004. I was the Program Chairman for ASIS International in 2018. I served as the Assistant Governor of the Rotary District in Delhi in 2020.I have been enthusiastically involved in ensuring a high level of participation of members & enrolment of new members in various events. My work within these organizations has lead me to recognize that constant involvement amongst the members and meaningful interactions leads to member retention. I believe in collaboration and empowerment. I would like to harness my energy and enrich the experience of the membership by assisting the Board in taking the CII to new heights”.As a board member, Ajit’s wants to enrolling members from countries where CII does not have a presence, promote CII on social media, attract new members of sound reputation and attract large corporate clients to engage with CII members globally. Ajit can be reached at [email protected]..