Purchasing test as a tool to combat illicit trafficking – Case Study

A business partner from the United Kingdom has approached us. Their client has a problem suspecting that their products are being sold on the Polish market, potentially stemming from stolen transportation. To verify if this is indeed happening, they asked for our help to conduct a test purchase.

The client provided specific information such as the brand and specifications of the thermometer we were supposed to purchase. Additionally, we were given links to online auctions where the trade of illegally obtained products was suspected to take place.

Execution of a test purchase

The execution of the purchase was to be carried out according to our client’s strict guidelines. Every stage of the transaction was documented using screenshots. After making the payment, we proceeded to the next steps, which included checking when exactly the seller received the funds into their account, the shipment dispatch date, and the route to our designated pickup point. The client wanted to know how quickly the transaction and delivery process were conducted for the buyers.

Photographic documentation

The packages arrived within a few days, and at that point, the next stage of the task began. We carried out a complete photographic documentation of the purchased items. We also received very specific guidelines regarding taking the photos.

The photos were supposed to cover every detail of the ordered products. This included capturing the moment of receiving the package from the postal machine, photos of the packaging and labels on the parcels, the moment of opening and removing the contents. After receiving the order, we conducted a detailed photo report of each product so that all details were clearly visible and the inscriptions were readable. Furthermore, all documents included with the purchased products were to be included in the photos.

Test purchase – report

After completing all activities related to the purchase, we prepared a detailed report describing the purchasing process, photographic documentation, customer communication including all messages, and the timeline from order placement to parcel delivery.

The effects of our actions

Based on our report, the client compared the serial numbers of the missing goods with the data of products acquired during the test purchase. After conducting the analysis, it was determined that the thermometers indeed originated from stolen transportation and were illegally present in the market. As a result of our actions, the client was able to initiate legal procedures to recover their property.


Such actions are intended to help our clients solve issues related to unfair competition or illegal trade of their goods. They are often used to detect if someone is trading counterfeit or unauthorized products in a specific market or country.

Thanks to our efforts, the client can confirm their suspicions and obtain evidence that someone is illegally trading their products or distributing counterfeit products, thus exposing them to losses.

Author: Piotr Dobosz

*For the respect and safety of our clients, all sensitive data has been anonymised for publication purposes.

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