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Amanzimtoti-based private investigator Carol Lane of Lane & Associates said that while her company is often requested to undertake background and credit checks of potential tenants, no residential development had ever hired her company to check the backgrounds of their staff. Nor had any private person ever asked her company to check out their domestic staff.

"That always amazes me. Domestic staff are trusted with our homes, our children and our lives and yet nobody bothers to do even the most basic background check on their domestic help. The vast majority of domestic staff are absolutely honest, decent people but if they are hired straight off the street they could well be violent criminals."

Nina de Winter, CEO of international investigations company Kroll, said that her company was very rarely asked to conduct background checks on domestic helpers: "We have had such requests, but many people do not realize that his can in fact be done. In this day and age the cost of performing such a check is nothing compared to the price you might pay for not doing so. The price you may pay for hiring unknown help could be your life."

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