Kidnapping. Missing persons. Wrongful imprisonment.
These events happen every single day across the world. But thanks to the special skills of highly trained teams, these suspects don’t stand a chance.
We recently got the chance to speak with representatives from Conflict International’s US-based office, a private investigation firm that has handled some of the most high profile cases in countries around the world. They quite literally have done work on every continent. The US division of the agency operates out of New York City, while Conflict International is based out of London. And CI’s very own CEO Mike Lacorte is the chairman of the World Association of Detectives. Impressive.
Conflict United States handle all US operations stateside and all operations around the globe coming from within the United States.
From around-the-clock surveillance to boots on the ground operations, this team reps one heck of a resume.
One thing became very clear in our conversation with US Operations Director Stephen Komorek:
These guys know what they’re doing.
The team boasts an impressive set of skills, with crewmembers repping extensive military and law enforcement backgrounds.
So, have you heard of them? That’s a tricky question. These guys are everywhere. You most likely just haven’t realized it. This team keeps nearly everything out of the media in an attempt to keep their clientele protected.
“We work behind the scenes and under the radar,”said Komorek.
But… some stories can and need to be told.
Back in November of 2018, an American college student named Matthew Fellows was imprisoned in China after a jealous love triangle landed him in a world of trouble.
Apparently the student had originally traveled to China to teach English to schoolchildren, but eventually joined a program at a university there.
Apparently jealous of Fellows and his relationship with an attractive Russian model, a ‘love rival’ falsely accused Fellows of smoking a joint at a university function and passing it around to others — a claim that authorities in China take very seriously.
China has an extremely strict stance on drugs, and a conviction could come with a death sentence.
Fellows faced charges of drug trafficking due to the claim that he had shared the marijuana with his friends. He was promptly locked up and unable to contact his family, only being allowed to visit with a US Consulate representative for 30 minutes a month.
Komorek, who was instrumental in getting Matthew released, said that the student’s situation was grim.
‘In some places in China you can get the death penalty for as few as two counts of drug trafficking, Mr. Fellows had four, they have a zero tolerance approach,’ he said. And Fellows wasn’t about to be given a fair trial.
“Remember, in China there are no defense attorneys – only prosecutors. There are three phases of justice. Number one, you are arrested and imprisoned, immediately labeled guilty while they look for evidence. Number two, authorities turn over anything they find to the prosecutor. Then number three, the prosecutor gives their recommendation to the judge and the sentence is carried out. It’s that quick.”
The boy’s parents remained mostly in the dark during his imprisonment.
“The Fellows were completely distraught by this as you might imagine, fearful for their son’s life,” Komorek said.
Fellows was finally freed from his prison cell after being locked up for nearly a year due to some incredible negotiation skills from Komorek and his team.
The 23-year-old was reportedly confined to an 18′ x 11′ cell with 15 other prisoners and was given just a blanket and one meal of rice each day.
In November, after a long battle with Chinese officials, he was finally released and brought home. On his way back to the US, Fellows posted to Facebook.
“I haven’t worn shoes in 8 months let alone walking for more than three minutes,” the post read. “My feet hurt and so do all the muscles associated foot movement in my lower legs. I’ll get the hang of strolling around on my feet after a few days.’
His mother, Donna Fellows, was overjoyed by the work done to bring her son home safely.
“We’re absolutely thrilled, we can’t wait to get him home and smother him with love and hugs,” she said just before his return. “It’s been a traumatic time for the entire family, we’re just glad it’s over.”
So how did Conflict United States help locate and return the Fellows’ missing child?
“We work behind the scenes and under the radar”
Once they learned that Fellows had been imprisoned, they reached out to Chinese officials.
“We immediately contacted our assets within the Chinese government and were able to quickly ascertain what had happened to Mr. Fellows,” said Komorek. “We then conducted our own investigation and working with the local authorities and court system, we managed to get to the truth.”
Conflict International has senior level contacts in more than 80 countries around the world.
Komorek, also a member of the World Association of Detectives, says his team was also able to establish that a ‘love rival’ of Matthew made false claims of the crime to police.
“Crimes were reported to the local police because of a romantic rival he was even unaware of,” he said. “We quickly came to learn that the crimes Mr. Fellows was accused of, he did not commit.”
After Komorek’s team provided extensive evidence from their investigation, a judge finally admitted that there was no validity to the allegations and dropped all charges against Fellows.
Want to learn more about Conflict United States? Visit their website for an exclusive look at their unparalleled specialty services.