Just 88 new PI licenses have been issued in all of Greece

Many famous private investigators that appear on a variety of television shows as «experts» do not have valid operating licenses, according to a high-ranking officer of the Greek police. He added that since August 2, 2005, when the new laws regarding this field were put into practice, just 88 new licenses have been issued in the entire country so far. In total, there have been 109 applications, of which 10 were rejected, while the others are still being processed. Of the 88 firms that received a license, 59 are based in Athens, nine are in Thessaloniki and the rest are scattered around other parts of the country. The high concentration of such offices in the capital is not just because Athens is the most populated city in Greece, but also because it has the biggest number of companies and businesses. «Serious investigation firms mostly take on cases relating to investments, financial fraud, or cases for insurance companies, and not adultery cases,» said the police source. Before 2003, when the legal framework for private investigators began being formed, almost anyone could work as a snoop. When the law was enacted and professionals in the field were asked to submit applications for formal licenses, a great number of the more popular detectives did not even bother filling in the paperwork, knowing that their applications would most probably be rejected. The reason is that many of these individuals have prior citation for illegal phone tapping and surveillance. The police officer confirmed that there are many firms operating illegally in the country and that the usual method of locating them is by going via classified ads. A cleanup operation some two months ago uncovered 90 firms illegally providing services for investigations or security. Citizens wishing to commission a private investigator should ask to see a valid operating license and make sure to sign a contract of employment with the PI or the firm outlining the task in detail. Most of the accusations brought against PIs to the police concern a breach of agreement, where the agreement has been verbal rather than in writing.

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