THE number of Asian families hiring private investigators to delve into the background of a potential spouse for their child has nearly doubled in the past few years.
They are spending thousands of pounds on an agent to probe a person’s history, finances and carry out secret filming.
With the wedding season imminent, some firms do lie-detector tests and “honeytrap” operations to see if a potential partner will be tempted by an undercover actor who tries to seduce them.
Dating websites including Ask Bhabi, a matchmaking service for Sikhs, also carry out background checks in some of its packages.
Lion Investigation Services said it now has 40-45 Asian clients each month compared to around 25 monthly in 2013.
Raj Singh, senior partner for the firm, said families are taking more precautions due to online dating horror stories.
He told Eastern Eye: “Family members are more hesitant to match-make because of failures in marriage. Also people hide things or exaggerate them to the point where it is better to find out
the real truths before marriage, instead of regrets later after marriage.
“People tend to oversell themselves on dating sites; by the time the interaction starts, they tend not to go back on what their profiles say.
“We have had clients fly over from India to meet us to investigate people in the UK for the purpose of marriage. From thousands of miles away, they go on what they are told about the person, the family and standard of living.”
Basic background checks start from £150, with surveillance and honey-trapping sting operations costing more. Singh said: “We investigated an individual whose family was of a good-standing, he was claiming to be a judge and earning well over £100k. The client from India wanted the verification and surveillance.
“We established he was a court usher and living with his parents. He had no assets to his name.” Singh added: “(There was) An investigation into an individual who was to be honey-trapped to
test her faithfulness before marriage.
“The client and subject were courting at the time. The subject of the investigation sent nude photos of herself and offered sexual encounters with the operative before offering to call in sick to the family barbecue and meet the honey-trap at a hotel.”
The trend has led to some firms, many of which have agents who are former police officers, offering arranged marriage checks. Investigators are also being hired who can speak Hindi, Punjabi,
Gujarati, Tamil and Urdu to investigate a marriage proposal from the UK and south Asia.
Timothy Burchell, from UK Private Investigators, said his firm deals with dozens of clients form the Asian community each year. It has seen a 65 per cent increase in enquiries during the past
He told Eastern Eye: “I think this is a product of today’s society, with the popularity of social media and internet, people seem to be more suspicious of each other.
“We have been on the internet for 19 years and have definitely seen an increase in enquiries from Asian families, both from the UK and overseas.
“One particular case comes to mind, where the client was simply curious as to what the male was doing in his free time. It transpired that he was a fairly heavy drinker and visiting strip clubs and
using escorts on a fairly regular basis – obviously the marriage didn’t proceed.
“Another case was where the prospective spouse claimed he was successful and ran his own business. It transpired that he worked in a well-known fast food restaurant.”