This is the second time that an investigator at Mainguard achieved the Investigator of Year Award. The first time was in 1998 in Boston, when Mainguard’s founder Major P. Kalastree won the award, also competing with 2 Americans vying for this prestigious award in the investigations profession.
Ms Ponnosamy won the award for her dedication in an international kidnapping case which spanned over a 10 year period globally from France to USA to Jordan to Egypt. This case, which has Interpol involvement because human trafficking concerns, also highlights Mainguard’s adoption of corporate social responsibility as the company agreed to accept the case without fees.
It was assigned to Mainguard a couple of years ago by American Investigative Services (the lead investigations firm in this case). The Subject, who holds a dual American and French citizenship was in a mental asylum in France when she was alleged kidnapped from the institution by an Egyptian man. Later, the kidnapper whom we believe became her lover, was found to be hiding in Malaysia. All they had was a name, photo and a mobile number as leads. From the given clues, Ms Ponnosamy was able to trace the Subject and alleged kidnapper to a red light district in Kuala Lumpur and later to Kuantan where they went into hiding again. For over a year, they communicated via email with the alleged kidnapper, persuading him to allow the Subject to return to her mother – the client.
The 80 year old sickly mother living in Paris has expended all her financial resources in the investigations over the 10 year period, and Ms Ponnosamy agreed to assist at no cost. Mainguard absorb the investigations cost in Malaysia and Ms Ponnosamy took it upon herself personally to make numerous overseas calls to France, USA (to seek assistance from respective bodies), the American embassy in Malaysia. She continued to stay in touch with the Subject’s mother to assure her of the daughter’s well being – as the Subject was spotted to be In good physical health but emotionally wrecked, in Kuala Lumpur. The Subject’s mother, never gave up hope that her daughter will one day return safely home. Ms Ponnosamy, did her best to manage the mother emotionally and while she never left that hope die, she was always cautioning the mother of the realities of the situation. On her own initiative, once the Subject has been spotted in Kuala Lumpur, she had continued to randomly monitor through her ground sources to ensure that the Subject was safe with the alleged kidnapper, who apparently appeared to treat her well.
The case ended favourably and the Subject is now safely in a mental institution in USA as the kidnapper finally agreed to put the Subject on a flight back to the USA. The kidnapper remains at large to this date, and his motivations for the kidnap and later devotion to her remains unknown. It was a true life story befitting for the movies!
Armed with a Masters in Business Administration degree, Ms Ponnosamy joined her family’s security and investigations business in Singapore over 10 years ago where she developed her passion in Corporate investigation work throughout the Asia Pacific region. Today, Ms Ponnosamy is a Board member of the Council of International Investigators where she also chairs the Public Relations Committee. She is also participates in list serve groups such as Amazing Women Investigators and Female Legal and Investigative Professionals.
Contact: Major P. Kalastree / Sant Kaur Jayaram , Email: mainguard@mainguard-
Sheila Ponnosamy with her father, Major (ret) P. Kalastree
– Managing Director, Mainguard International (S) Pte Ltd