The main measures traditionally employed by law enforcement agencies in relation to the investigation of forestry offences include search and seizure of property, arrest and questioning, and covert operations (such as surveillance, controlled delivery, and undercover activities).

Mi7 National Group’s Special Investigative Unit makes use of dedicated investigators with proven track records and successful closure of cases. Our team is made up of skilled operatives from a broad range of professional backgrounds, offering a wealth of experience. We employ professional detectives, many with a background in military and police intelligence as well as lawyers who are specialists in private and corporate fields.

Our investigators use a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment to conduct their duties, but also rely on a vast informer network developed over years in KwaZulu-Natal and surrounding provinces.

Intelligence Capacity Law enforcement is increasingly led by intelligence. This involves, inter alia, the collation, analysis and dissemination of information, and provides a systematic approach to critical thinking, which, in turn, can assist in the prevention and suppression of criminal activities. Intelligence-led investigations are more effective than speculative
or reactive methods.

While it is important to gather information from a wide range of sources, it is likely that the information will vary in quality and sources will vary in reliability and motivation. It is thus essential that information is subjected to some form of analysis and grading before it is disseminated or used. Once gathered and analysed, intelligence must be transmitted to the individuals and departments that are able to use it. A vital factor in the expeditious and effective exchange of intelligence is the speed at which material can be transmitted to relevant agencies or investigators who may be in a position to respond to it.

Mi7 National Group employs a three-tier intelligence-gathering framework:
• Strategic intelligence: The development of prevention strategies, education and awareness campaigns.
• Tactical intelligence: Planning activities and deploying resources to achieve operational objectives.
• Operational intelligence: Intelligence on the activities of specific individuals or groups. It can help to identify criminals, provide advance information about their activities, and help to plan proactive, disruptive and further intelligence-led investigations.

Covert Intelligence-Led Operations
Mi7 National Group has the capacity to carry out the following covert operations:
• Interception of telecommunications, e-mail traffic and post/mail
• Listening devices, tracking and positioning devices
• Mobile surveillance teams, and photographic and video surveillance
• False personal and company identities
• Covert search of premises, letters, packages, containers and vehicles
• Simulated or test-purchase of an item
• Internet surveillance
• Simulation of a corruption offence or “integrity test”
• Undercover infiltration of networks through operatives posing as criminals or buyer

Our technical equipment consists of:
Spy, Covert and Nanny Cameras
• Body worn cameras
• DVR covert cameras
• 3G/4G cameras
• CCD covert cameras

GPS Trackers
• Portable or personal GPS tracking devices
• Vehicle GPS trackers

Vehicle Surveillance
• Vehicle cameras
• Fleet Management Services
• Route monitoring and tracking


The information provided by informants can be vital—and sometimes the only way—to prevent or solve a crime. The effective recruitment and handling of informants can prove significantly more resource- and cost-effective compared with other covert methods of investigation.

The role of Mi7 National Group is to build and maintain an informer network relevant to the operation of Sappi.

The following groups will be targeted:
• Forest-fringe communities
• Regular route drivers (trucking and transport)
• Sex workers
• Former crime victims
• Retailers of materials similar to that produced by Sappi
• Maintenance workers and contractors

Mi7 National Group follows the below outlined Standard Operating Procedures when managing informant networks:
• Officers shall meet with informants during on-duty hours. To avoid accusations of misconduct, no officer shall meet with an informant unless accompanied by at least one additional officer or with prior approval of the handling officer’s direct supervisor.
• The handling officer’s direct supervisor shall also be notified and approve all meetings and the location of the meeting
• Officers shall conduct searches of the informant, before and after an operation,exchange, or contact involving suspects
• Officers shall not promise leniency to the informant for a pending criminal charge
• Officers shall not withhold the identity of an informant from his/her direct supervisor
• Criminal activity by informants shall not be condoned
• Informants shall be advised they are not acting as police officers, employees or agents of Mi7 National Group.
• Supervisors are to review and approve operational plans, considering potential danger to the informant and monitor the relationship between the officer and the informant
• Supervisors are to review and approve all Debriefing Logs prior to submittal to the Special Investigations Unit head for inclusion in the informant’s file
• Supervisors are to approve payment amounts to informant(s)

Crime Scene Management
Our investigation team will not only investigate crimes, but it will also aid in the securing of the crime scenes, identification and securing of evidence, suspects and witnesses, the secure collection of the statements for the purpose of investigation of crimes. We can further conduct internal investigations and create a mirror docket so that the process flow of the case may be followed through to successful completion.

We also have access to several tracing platforms to enable the investigator to look into certain persons of interest when required.

Our administrative capabilities are:
Conducting a pointing out
• Recording contact by the investigating officer
• Conducting the initial interview of a suspect
• Conducting a closing interview with a suspect

Criminal law and understanding the elements of crime
• Applying the element of legality as a general principle of criminal law
• Applying the element of conduct as a general principle of criminal law
• Applying the element of unlawfulness as a general principle of criminal law
• Applying the element of culpability as a general principle of criminal law
• Applying categories of participants to the commission of offences
• Applying cases where a person may be held criminally liable for incomplete conduct
• Applying elements of a crime in relation to crimes against persons

Criminal Procedures Act
• Conducting search and seizure
• Knowledge of forfeiture of seized articles
• Conducting an arrest
• Application of bodily features of the accused
• Crime scene management
• Prioritize and execute necessary actions prior to attending a crime scene
• Secure and control a crime scene
• Identify the nature of a crime scene
• Record relevant information
• Identify and handle witnesses, victims and suspects
• Identify and utilize the relevant investigation experts and aids

Crime Scene Management Techniques employed:
• Arrival at the scene
• Noting and addressing any safety concerns
• Setting initial scene perimeter
• Scene security
• Initial scene photography
• Initial walk-through
• Preservation of fragile evidence
• Re-assessment of equipment or additional personnel needs
• Briefing of other scene processors
• Scene search (this continues throughout the scene processing)
• Visualizing the locating evidence items at the scene
• Evidence location tagging
• Evidence location list
• Crime scene photography
• General CSI photography guidelines
• Mapping the location of evidence items
• Crime scene sketch
• Marking evidence items
• Packaging and sealing evidence items
• Methods of sealing evidence packages
• Tagging evidence items and packages
• Evidence receipts
• Chain-of-custody record
• Evidence submittal form
• Specific evidence collecting
• Overall CSI reporting