Interview – Kunwar Vikram Singh, Global President, WAD

India is hosting the 92nd Annual Conference of World Association of Detectives (WAD) and a Roundtable Dialogue on Anticorruption Partnership during 10-14 October 2017 in Shangri-La, New Delhi. It is an impressive assembly of global leaders in Cyber Security and Corporate Intelligence who will discuss and develop tools to deal with internal and external corrupt practices, and launch a well-coordinated corporate campaign against corruption to support agenda of good governance of the Prime Minister of India.

World Association of Detectives (WAD) is a global alliance of investigators and security professionals from around the world. WAD aims to promote and maintain the highest ethical practices in the profession of private investigation and security service, and to establish and further a mutual feeling of trust, goodwill and friendship among agencies throughout the world.

WAD has members from more than 80 countries across the world, where India has one of the largest representations of 71 members. Coincidently, Kunwar Vikram Singh who is the current Global President of WAD, is also from India. He joined WAD more than 30 years back, and was elected President at its 91st Annual Conference held at Bucharest, Romania last year.

Kunwar Vikram Singh is the founding Chairman of Lancers Network Ltd. which is South Asia’s leading Risk Consulting firm, operating in the high-on-risk countries of the region and the other parts of the world including Europe and CIS countries. Equipped with a highly experienced operational team drawn from the financial sector, armed forces, police, security services and industry professionals; the company has developed a reputation for providing quality driven, customer focused and highly successful actionable intelligence solutions.

He is also the founding President and Chairman of Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI), a leading organization for security professionals in India which has emerged as an ‘elite association’ nationally and internationally. It is an association of renowned security professionals managing the world’s largest workforce of 7 million guardsmen and women engaged in providing private security cover to the nation. The unique bouquet of experience and entrepreneurship has taken CAPSI to new heights, especially after the enactment of the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act 2005.

Mr. Singh is also the founding President and Chairman of the Association of Private Detectives & Investigators (APDI), a preeminent national association of professional investigators in India. In addition to free-lancers, other investigation personnel as well as students are offering their involvement with APDI to better understand the constant changes in investigation issues and solutions. The members of the APDI work in compliance with the code of ethics of the Association.

A majority of members of APDI are also members of WAD and the Association is actively involved in the hosting and organization of the upcoming WAD Annual Conference in India.

SecurityLink India spoke to Kunwar Vikram Singh about the World Association of Detectives and the WAD 92nd Annual conference to be held in New Delhi. Some excerpts:

SecurityLink India: Kindly give a brief about the global entity WAD.

Kunwar Vikram Singh: World Association of Detectives (WAD) is the foremost international association of private investigators, security professional and security service organizations which was founded in 1925. It is the world’s largest and oldest association of its kind. It was formed as a joint venture by the combined membership of the World Association of Detectives, and the International Secret Service Association which was founded date back in 1921. The purpose of the establishment of WAD were primarily to promote and maintain the highest ethical practices in the profession of private investigation and security service; to grant membership to only those individuals whose personal and professional backgrounds and business affiliations are based on the precepts of truth, accuracy and prudence; to eliminate unreliable, incompetent and irresponsible members of the profession; to foster and perpetuate a spirit of cooperation among its members and with all those engaged in law enforcement; and to further and establish a mutual feeling of trust, goodwill and friendship amongst agencies throughout the world. WAD is registered in Colorado, USA.

SecurityLink India: How was WAD conceptualized?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: All nations, around the globe, have their own internal intelligence organizations such as RAW, CBI, FBI, KGB, or CIA and so on. However, their investigations and related activities are focused and dedicated to the government, government organizations and the safety of the country. Especially during those days, the private corporates and economic leaders across the globe who generally generate finance and employment, and who have the major contribution in making the nation’s economy, did not avail adequate facility and infrastructure to protect them. They lacked proper assistance and support in procuring intelligence either about the rivals or about the internal and external frauds caused especially in banking and financial sectors, or about any other private crimes for that matter. That caused huge economic losses to them and consequently to the respective nations. That conspicuous vacuum germinated the seeds of organizations like WAD. Retired police officers and intelligence professionals all over the world conceptualized and set up a pan-world organization called WAD to work together and exchange relevant information to settle the issues and help establish an environment of ease of doing business.

Over the period, the flavor of the crime has drastically changed. For example, corporate, cyber, IPR crimes, financial frauds etc., were not there earlier. Several banks, companies and corporations have failed owing to internal frauds. For last three conferences, I impressed upon them to start a certificate course for young people who may even not essentially be an investigator. Several other professionals such as chartered accountants, lawyers may also opt for this field and become an investigator, as they are the experts of finance and laws respectively. Today we need huge number of young investigators, but that needs training and training facilities which are available only for the government personnel.

– Kunwar Vikram Singh
Global President, WAD 

Today the world has shrunk and become one village. People have multiple operations in various countries including import, export, banking and all kinds of transactions that require a large amount of pre and post information and information sharing such as about background, feasibilities, risk assessment etc. WAD is an association of equally qualified people of huge experience and high credibility from across the world to exchange relevant information which can be used for a strategic decision making process by an individual or a corporate, and to resolve an issue.

SecurityLink India: What is the organizational structure of WAD?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: WAD is presently working in more than eighty countries with a membership of more than one thousand elite professionals. The members primarily comprise professionals from law enforcement organizations, risk consultants and risk managers, advocates and other relevant professions.

The WAD Board of Directors is elected through a purely democratic process of indirect voting. A person who is member of WAD for three years is eligible for contesting election for director. The Board of Directors has a defined hierarchy and to reach every level eligible candidates contest elections. If one stays on the board for five years then he or she becomes eligible for 3rd Vice President, then 2nd, then 1st, and finally President. Besides, we have ambassadors in different countries who are responsible to interact with the local investigators, promote WAD objectives and functions, hold meetings in the countries and so on. We also select Area Governors as per continents. They represent multiple countries of a continent including the country in which they reside.

Both Ambassadors and Area Governors act in the capacity of advisor. They assist the Board of Directors in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the Association, the attainment of its objectives, the solicitation of memberships and such other duties as are fixed by the Board. Ambassadors may not serve in the same or like capacity for any other International Association.

Finally, we have various committees for different works such as Legislative Committee, Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, Conference Committee and so on. Legislative Committee assists the members of a country where pertinent law is pending – for instance in India, the Private Detective Agency (Regulation) bill 2007 is pending in Parliament – in the form of advice and even arranging  required funds to expedite the matter in a proper way. Conference Committee works towards holding conferences, selecting venue and sites, and so on. The location of a conference is decided almost five years in advance.

SecurityLink India: What is the association of APDI with WAD?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: There is no express association between WAD and APDI. APDI is a pan-India organization which founded in 2005. APDI has more than 500 members who are also well qualified and highly experienced investigative professionals. Incidentally, 71 members of APDI have qualified and become members of WAD, which is a great achievement. After USA we have the largest number of representation in WAD. It clearly shows the professional capability and credibility of APDI investigators. With WAD membership, these APDI members get opportunities to attend international forum of conferences and seminars and enrich their potentials to international levels. As India lacks in academies to train and educate such professionals these forums prove beneficial in helping them enhance their individual capability as well as the credibility of their firms. With both the tags of APDI and WAD, corporates have reasons to amply rely on them and that helps them grow their business.

APDI is working as the supporting partner to organize the current WAD Conference in India. During this Conference, APDI is hosting and sponsoring a great cocktail and dinner for all WAD delegates in Gymkhana Club. This is happening first time in the history of WAD that a local association has offered a gala reception to their delegates.

SecurityLink India: Having second largest presence in WAD, is there any categorized WAD operation in India?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: There is nothing known as a WAD operation in India, because every member of WAD is an individual member. In India, we have a well-coordinated system of working, but as APDI. However, in order to increase awareness and for more knowledge sharing, this time I am putting a proposal for holding regional or country based meetings of the local members at least in the countries which has large number of WAD members. These forums can also engage local corporate representatives, law enforcement personnel, and other non-member investigators. Such knowledge sessions will discuss local issues of importance and help devise strategies accordingly.

There is another proposal from my end that in order to increase membership in other countries, WAD should develop partnership with the local associations of that country. This will certainly help in understanding the economic and cultural practices of the region more closely and thereby in expanding business.

SecurityLink India: Having worked across countries, have you ever encountered any local law of the country deterring WAD functioning?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: See, no country intends to promote corruption. All countries have proper anti-corruption policies and departments in place, and everybody is expected to follow those systems. So, there is no deterrence as such. However, at places like India there are lacunas in the workings and processing of the system. A system where a chain of approvals is required for an approval of even a minor project definitely gives ways to corruption and ease of doing business is compromised.

SecurityLink India: Sharing individual information across borders is usually not allowed by the laws of a country. How do you evade violating such laws during your operations?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: We never violate laws and nor do we share information that breaches the privacy of an individual or corporate. We pass on only that information which is in government records and thus in public domain. For instance, when a foreign partner asks us to carry out a due diligence of a business in India, we verify the given credentials of the business such as its certification, police and legal history, agreements, clearances etc., with the government record and pass on; there is no taboo in passing such information. We pass on only that information which help bring about partnership of the businesses of two countries congenially and easily. So, we are working substantially as risk mitigation machinery.

SecurityLink India: Does WAD have plans to set up training facilities in India?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: See, over the period, the flavor of the crime has drastically changed. For example, corporate, cyber, IPR crimes, financial frauds etc., were not there earlier. Several banks, companies and corporations have failed owing to internal frauds. For last three conferences, I impressed upon them to start a certificate course for young people who may even not essentially be an investigator. Several other professionals such as chartered accountants, lawyers may also opt for this field and become an investigator, as they are the experts of finance and laws respectively. Today we need huge number of young investigators, but that needs training and training facilities which are available only for the government personnel.

This is the moment we should start online courses. In India we, at Lancers Network Ltd, have joined hands with ARC Trainings, an American English Company, and started special courses for insurance fraud investigation. Now, WAD is also planning to be the knowledge partners to impart training either through their own academies or by supporting academies run by someone else. This will also enhance the credibility of the members and its membership rates will also grow. They can also run refresher courses for old professionals to make them aware about the new developments in the kinds of crimes, and new set of technologies available to counter them. In India it will open up a new career.

SecurityLink India: How are WAD Conferences organized?

Kunwar Vikram Singh: WAD holds two kinds of meetings in a year – the Annual Conference and Mid Term Meetings. The Conference Committee takes decisions for these events. Location and site for a Conference are fixed about 5 years in advance by voting. The representatives of different countries make their presentations at the Annual Conference to host the next Conference in their country. The presentations demonstrate the highlighting attributes of their countries including about the venue, cultural heritage, economic status, scope and viability, business scope etc. The members elect the location by voting.

The idea of organizing conferences in different countries aims at understanding the legal system, government policies, socio-economic environment, religious behaviour and various cultures of the country, and expanding the scope of business therein. This knowledge helps in doing the risk analysis of the country that in turn helps in strategic decision making.

The current event in India is the 92nd Annual Conference, which is accomplished after 4-5 contests. Pertinent people around the globe are keeping close eyes as they are aware about the Indian rich cultural heritage and kind of hospitality. This Conference is also important for the world as in the wake of ‘Make in India’ call, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has aggressively invited global investments with the promise of viability, security and ROI. This Conference will provide investors the forum to understand the safety, security, feasibility, and risk assessment for investing in India.

SecurityLink India: Kindly share some highlights of the Conference.

Kunwar Vikram Singh: The 92nd Annual Conference is a five days event spreading over 10 to 14 October. Like most of the Conferences, this one will also see senior leaders, Past Presidents and alike sharing their experiences which will make good learning for the young aspirants. Besides professional challenges, there are environmental challenges such as cyber law. Cyber security is still a huge subject and people have least awareness to sustain it. Each expert has his own expertise to deal with this. Pawan Duggal a renowned cyber expert and the Chairman of CyberLaws will give his insight on the topic.

The attraction of the forum is the Round Table Dialogue on Anti-corruption Partnership. This is a unique initiative taken by us in India, this has never happened before by WAD. Various Governments have enacted laws like anti-bribery, anti-corruption acts in their countries, but people in other countries who may intend to enter business agreement there are not aware about them. Such unawareness may cause them loss and character damage in later days and their reputation may fall. This Seminar will bring all professionals together on one platform and take collective action to enable an ease of doing business. That collective action will be discussed in two sessions by a star figure named Michael Hershman who is famous in India because he investigated the Bofors case.

We will also start and showcase a Centre for Anti-corruption Partnership in India where we will invite all the compliance managers and security professionals to create a platform to create a conducive environment and honest image of India in the world. We will support governmental anti-corruption campaigns and also provide required information to government organizations like CBI, Chief Vigilance Commissioner, and concerned anti-corruption departments of states.

The most effective way to fight corruption is through collective action involving all stakeholders including civil society, business and government. WAD plays a unique role in that, it intersects with each of these sectors and can serve as an unifying force in the fight against corruption

– Michael J. Hershman

The World Association of Detectives is a global association containing some of the best international investigation and intelligence minds in the world. The WAD membership currently stands at nearly 1000 investigation and security practitioners representing over 80 countries around the globe. Our conferences rotate throughout various locations around the world and our 92nd Annual Conference is scheduled to be held this October in New Delhi. As the current First Vice President and incoming President of this elite group of professionals, I am duly honoured and eagerly look forward to experiencing Incredible India and formally being part this historic event

– Mike LaCorte
1st Vice President,
World Association of Detectives

The wonderful location chosen for the 92nd WAD Annual Conference by the Board  is the proof that during this last decade I’ve spent within the organization, taking on roles as Ambassador, Area Governor, Board member and lately as VP, and we are witnesses of a great change taking place throughout WAD.

We can recognize that through a number of far-reaching projects and initiatives and also thanks to our Officers, our association is opening up to the world, and heading towards full global representation of private investigation’s interests and progress

– Laura Giuliani
2nd Vice President, WAD

The digital age has unleashed a new breed of global criminals who can strike from anywhere in the world, exploiting international networks and technology to siphon innovation and cripple enterprise.

Unless law enforcement and private security agencies reinvent themselves, these new threats will render them irrelevant in this new threat environment

– Anselm Lopez
INTERPOL Executive Commitee Delegate Chairman

Pathfinders Security Group


Leave a Comment