North of Limpopo

(Le Monde diplomatique) --
By Nizar Manek, 15 July 2014
When Mungo Soggot moved from journalism to writing non-public intelligence and investigation reports for corporate clients and investors, he made a miraculous discovery: he could pay his sources for information. Where appropriate, an invoice would be involved. At other times payment would be made through Western Union or MoneyGram. (Sources often don’t want to be associated with the work they’re doing so they don’t want money wired into a bank account.)
Most often, the best information comes from sources that don’t ask to be paid, says Soggot, who used to be a reporter at the South African weekly Mail & Guardian. Talking from the London office of K2 Intelligence, an offshoot of Kroll, an investigations firm founded in 1972 by a New York Assistant District Attorney that went on to become a global pioneer in the field, he said: “It’s not just disgruntled employees. As you develop trust, those long-standing contacts you share a meal with a few times a year are generally more relaxed about telling you things.” Face-to-face meetings are important. “A lot of the countries we’re working in have reasonably energetic security services, so we don’t speak on the phone.”
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