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Kidnap for ransom on the increase in Africa

The last thing on your mind as you head off on a business trip into Africa – or anywhere else, for that matter – is kidnapping kidnapping, in law, the taking away of a person by force, threat, or deceit, with intent to cause him to be detained against his will. Kidnapping may be done for ransom or for political or other purposes. . But kidnap for ransom ransom, price of redemption demanded by the captor of a person, vessel, or city. In ancient times cities frequently paid ransom to prevent their plundering by captors. The custom of ransoming was formerly sanctioned by law.  consultant, Mark Courtney, says kidnapping is far more common in Africa than most people realise. 

“Kidnapping is not new in Africa,” he says, “but it does appear to be on the increase.” In fact, Courtney says Africa has three countries in the world’s top 10 kidnapping destinations, and South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa.  is one of them (along with Nigeria and Somalia). 

“There is a huge under-reporting of kidnap for ransom incidents in South Africa, especially when it comes to children,” he says. “Parents here tend to pay the ransom, get their children back and then either leave the country or go into permanent lock-down in their homes.” Courtney believes the increase in kidnapping in South Africa has come about as a result of our response to progressive criminal activity. 

“There was a time in South Africa when car radios were the big target. So we started using radios with removable faces, which proved a little more tricky Adrian Thaws (born January 27, 1968), better known as Tricky, is an English rapper and musician important in the trip hop and British music scene (despite loathing the "trip hop" tag). He is noted for a whispering lyrical style that is half-rapped, half-sung.  for thieves List of Thieves. Famous
  • Danielle Bethel
  • Bruce Reynolds
  • Ronnie Biggs
  • Prometheus
  • Tantalus
  • Hermes
  • Autolycus
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, but still not impossible to fence. 

“Then the motor manufacturers started building the radios into the cars, and when criminals started stealing more and more cars, we responded with gear locks, steering locks and sophisticated alarms and immobilisers. This response drove thieves to start taking cars with the drivers and hijacking hijacking

Crime of seizing possession or control of a vehicle from another by force or threat of force. Although by the late 20th century hijacking most frequently involved the seizure of an airplane and its forcible diversion to destinations chosen by the air pirates, when
 became more prevalent. 

“And so, we see that as the response to the crime becomes more sophisticated, the crime itself becomes more sophisticated. “It’s the same with kidnapping. Syndicates are becoming more and more advanced, using technology and complicated social networks to achieve their ends. Some operations can involve up to 20 people.” 

And it’s not just the obviously wealthy who are being targeted. There is a lot of money to be made in corporate kidnappings, where a company’s staff is taken and a ransom is demanded from the company for their return.  “The more-organised kidnapping syndicates are aware of who’s who in the corporate world, and frequently target employees of large organisations, particularly executives. 

“The more opportunistic opportunistic /op·por·tu·nis·tic/ (op?er-tldbomacn-is´tik)
1. denoting a microorganism which does not ordinarily cause disease but becomes pathogenic under certain circumstances.

 kidnappers often work airports using a variety of methods to snatch snatch

removal of a newborn animal from the dam before it has an opportunity to suck. The objective is to rear it independently and free of colostrum-borne infection or of colostral antibodies.
 corporate travellers. They may see a company logo on an employee’s suitcase, or get an arriving employee’s name off the welcome board of a waiting driver. People are particularly vulnerable while travelling, when their attention is focused on filling in forms, getting luggage LUGGAGE. Such things as are carried by a traveller, generally for his personal accommodation; baggage. In England this word is generally used in the same sense that baggage is used in the United States. See Baggage. , foreign exchange, etc., so they are soft targets.” Courtney is under contract to Clayton Consultants, a US-based company specialising in corporate security, personal security, risk analysis and crisis response services.

Clayton Consultants is contracted worldwide by AIG AIG addressee indicator group (US DoD)
AIG American International Group, Inc
AiG Answers in Genesis (religious group in defense of Scripture)
AIG Artificial Intelligence Group
AIG Australian Industry Group
 to handle all their kidnap for ransom cases, including cases for AIG in South Africa. “I come in at policy inception to brief clients on how to mitigate mit·i·gate
To moderate in force or intensity.

miti·gation n.
 the risk of being kidnapped Kidnapped

caught in the intrigues of Scottish factions, David Balfour and Alan Breck are shipwrecked, escape from the king’s soldiers, and undergo great dangers. [Br. Lit.: R. L. Stevenson Kidnapped]

See : Adventurousness
. I examine their habits and routines and point out any behaviour which would put them at risk. “We discuss security at home, at work, and while travelling – in fact, anywhere a person or their family may be vulnerable. “If a kidnapping does occur, I get called in to put together a crisis management team, made up of whoever needs to be there. I deal very closely with the family, as well as with the victim’s colleagues if necessary.” 

Courtney helped with the release of 22 people in Africa last year alone. “Africa has its own little nuances when it comes to negotiations,” says Courtney, who is often used by companies in other parts of the world, whose employees get kidnapped in Africa. “In times of crisis, it can be as much of a challenge dealing with the overseas corporates as it is dealing with the local kidnappers, as our African ways are unique in the world. “At the end of the day, though, my primary objective is to get the kidnap victim out alive. The support of the global Clayton network and the benefit of combined expertise provide a sense of stability in these highly stressful situations.  

“We’re very low key,” he adds. “It’s not like in the movies where you see guys walking into hotels carrying Samsonite brief cases and giving each other secret hand signals. We try not to alert the kidnappers that we’re there. We negotiate and do whatever it takes to get the victim out alive.” 

Courtney says there is one movie which portrays a kidnap for ransom pretty accurately. “If you want a good idea what it’s like, rent Proof of Life,” he says. “It’s the closest I’ve seen to a real life kidnap for ransom situation in any movie.”
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Author:RISKsa magazine looks at kidnapping for ransom
Date:Nov 23, 2007
Previous Article:Do You Have The Drive To Succeed?

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