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26 Nov 2004 11:26
Cheating husbands in China’s flashy commercial hub of Shanghai, beware, female detectives will soon be watching you.
China’s first all-female detective agency based in the southwestern city of Chengdu is expanding to Shanghai and is preparing to open as early as December in the nation’s divorce capital.
Already more than 1Â ,000 women in Shanghai have called the Women’s Rights Protection Investigation Centre seeking information about their services, Zhang Lanhua, director of the centre in Chengdu, said on Friday.
“We’ve received a lot of applications from women throughout the country, asking to work for the Shanghai branch,” said Zhang, adding that they were still making preparations and scouting for a location.
The agency’s planned move capitalises on a hoped-for change in laws that could see the eastern city lift a 10-year-old ban on the burgeoning private detective trade—granting sleuths the right to operate legally.
Already a hit in Chengdu, the agency here will provide similar services—counselling victims of domestic violence and failed marriages and helping women collect evidence against their philandering spouses.
Zhang said she expects to staff the new agency with more than 10 experienced detectives.
Given that Shanghai’s divorce rate of four per 1Â 000 couples is 2,5 times higher than the national average, according to Xinhua, Zhang’s detectives should have their hands full.
Media reports have said the Public Security Bureau is preparing new guidelines for an industry that has grown rapidly despite its unclear legal status.
More than 1Â 000 small private-eye outfits have sprouted around China in the past two years and Shanghai has about 30 firms, industry sources estimate. - Sapa-AFP
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