U.S / Barbados – Mother who kidnapped children gets 18 months


January 19, 2013

Source: Buffalo News

Jacqueline Bontzolakes says an abusive relationship forced her to gather up her two kids, flee her Town of Tonawanda home and escape to faraway Barbados.

map of caribbean

A federal court jury didn’t buy her story, however, and instead found her guilty in one of Buffalo’s first cases of international parental kidnapping.

Today, a judge sentenced Bontzolakes to 18 months in prison, well below what he could have given her.

“I ended up doing something I regret in order to protect my daughter,” she told U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson in a tearful plea for leniency.

Bontzolakes never denied taking her kids away from their fathers and leaving the country, but insisted there were sound reasons for what she did – the fear that her oldest daughter also was being abused.

Federal prosecutors tell a far different story of why Bontzolakes kidnapped her children. They claim it was because she had lost custody of the girl.

“I would ask the court not to forget who the real victims are here, the two children she kidnapped,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Fauzia K. Mattingly told Wilson, a visiting judge from Arkansas.

With nearly two dozen of Bontzolakes’ family, friends and supporters looking on, Wilson stopped well short of the three-year sentence he could have given her under federal sentencing guidelines.

The government’s case against Bontzolakes offers a glimpse into international parental kidnapping, which until this year was rare, if not unheard of, in Buffalo federal court.

It has been a long-standing problem elsewhere, however, an issue so big that a Hague Convention in 1980 resulted in an international treaty governing how countries deal with these types of kidnappings.

 

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The Hague Convention – Japan says it will sign child abduction treaty


January 19, 2013

Source: Japan Today

WASHINGTON —

Japan’s foreign minister said Friday that the new government would sign a treaty on child abductions, addressing one of the few rifts in relations with its main ally the United States.

photo_1358544127546-1-0

Japan has not signed or ratified the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires the return of wrongfully held children to the countries where they usually live, but a previous left-leaning government had said it planned to do so.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, whose conservative Liberal Democratic Party returned to power last month, said on a visit to Washington that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government would take the same stance.

“The government of Japan is intending to go through the necessary procedures for early signing of the treaty,” Kishida told a news conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton said she hoped that Japan’s parliament would pass legislation on the Hague treaty during its upcoming session.

Japanese courts virtually never grant custody to foreign parents or to fathers, leaving few legal avenues for fathers whose former partners have fled to Japan with their children.

U.S. parents have pursued at least 120 cases in Japan to seek access to half-Japanese children, invariably to no avail. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly pressed Japan to take up the issue.

The previous Japanese government’s position had initially heartened U.S. officials, but their hopes dimmed as Tokyo delayed action on the Hague treaty and indicated that a ratification would only apply to future cases.

Japanese critics of the Hague convention have previously argued that the country needs to protect women from potentially abusive foreign men.

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Fugitive Wanted For International Parental Kidnapping


July 19, 2012

Source: alexandrianews.org

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today the addition of Faical Ben Abdallah Chebbi, to the “Washington Field Office’s Wanted Fugitives” list. Chebbi, a former resident of Prince George’s County, Md., is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Tunisia and is wanted for international parental kidnapping.

On October 26, 2011, following his divorce proceedings, Chebbi, 40, was awarded visitation rights with his two children, Zainab, 3, and Eslam, 6. On November 11, 2011, Chebbi obtained his children from their maternal grandparents’ residence in Prince George’s County, Md. The children were supposed to be returned on November 13, 2011; however, on November 11, 2011, Chebbi and the children flew from Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., to Germany, and continued to Tunis, Tunisia. On November 12, 2011, Chebbi contacted the children’s mother who resides in Fairfax County, Va., and informed her that he and the children were in Tunisia and would not return to the U.S.

 Zainab Chebbi

Eslam Chebbi

On November 17, 2011, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland, issued an order for Chebbi to return the children. On December 19, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for Chebbi’s arrest for removing the children from the U.S. and retaining them outside the U.S. with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.

Chebbi is 6’6” (198 cm) and weighs approximately 200 pounds (91 kg) with black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion. Chebbi’s daughter, Zainab, has brown hair and brown eyes and has a mole on her right hip. Eslam, Chebbi’s son, has black hair and brown eyes. Both children speak English and are believed to be with Chebbi in Tunisia.

Chebbi speaks fluent Arabic, English and French and is likely to visit Algeria, Libya, Egypt and France. He may use an alias when crossing borders. While residing in the Washington, D.C. area, Chebbi was a limousine driver for several companies and operated his own limousine business called Airport Access. Chebbi is believed to continue to operate a self-employed business in Tunis, Tunisia, under the name Westwind Limousine.

The FBI investigates violations of the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA) of 1993 which states that a criminal arrest warrant can be issued for a parent who takes a juvenile under 16 outside of the U.S. without the other custodial parent’s permission. The FBI works these cases in partnership with international authorities through the U.S. Department of State, Interpol and FBI Legal Attaché offices.

Individuals with information concerning Faical Chebbi, or his children, call 1-800-CALL-FBI or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Additional information regarding Faical Chebbi, including his wanted poster, is available on the FBI Washington Field Office’s website at http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/parent/faical-chebbi.

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RÉCUPÉRATION DES ENFANTS ENLEVÉS


Les enlèvements d’enfants ont tragiquement atteint des proportions épidémiques dans le monde. Selon des experts de premier plan, l’augmentations des mariages et les relations interraciales résulterons dans l’avenir dans une hausse de nombres d’enfants nées avec des parents de nationalités differentes.

C’est le cas pour toutes les relations, les statistiques montrent qu’un bon nombre des ces mariages ou relations, aboutissent à un divorce ou une séparation.

Trop souvent, suite à la rupture d’un mariage, l’un des parents enlève l’enfant de cette relation contre la volonté de l’autre parent, et les retirent souvent dans un pays où l’enfant n’a probablement jamais vécu. C’est ce qu’on appelle “l’enlèvement parental international d’enfants”.

Bien qu’il existe différentes remèdes civiles disponibles aux parents d’enfants enlevés, les défis auxquels ils sont confrontés sont énormes, y compris en premier lieu, la localisation de l’enfant.

Malheureusement pour la majorité des parents ciblés, le fardeau financier impliqué dans la récupération et le litiges tombe sur leurs épaules. Avec des dizaines de milliers d’enfants enlevés par les parents chaque année, la réalité est qu’un trop grand nombre de ces enfants ne reviennent jamais à la maison. ABP World Group se consacre à aider les parents qui ont besoin d’aide dans la localisation, le sauvetage, et en retournant leur enfant à la maison en toute sécurité.

Notre intelligence et les capacités investigatrices combinées avec notre capacité d’envoyer du personnel à la plupart des endroits dans le monde offrent une solution sécurisée et stratégique pour la protection de ce qui est le plus important pour vous: votre enfant.

Malheureusement, dans ce climat actuel, les enlèvements parentales se produit trop souvent et nous sommes là pour vous aider à traverser cette période extrêmement traumatisante. Nous sommes conscients que les enlèvements d’enfants sont difficiles à résoudre, mais grâce à l’utilisation des opérateurs professionnels, avec les compétences et l’expertise nécessaires pour trouver une solution, nous sommes là pour vous aider.

Les stratégies efficaces de ABP World Group pour la récupération et à la réunification dépend de l’utilisation de tous les moyens disponibles, y compris mais non limité à:

– Investigations legal d’empreintes electroniques

– Collecte de renseignements

– Spécialistes d’information / Passer le traçage

– Approvisionnement de preuve

– Interview / évaluation

– Operations de surveillance spéciales

– Operations non-combattants d’évacuation

– Soutien interne

– Opérations internationales

– Transport maritime / Terrestre / Aérien

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Three-year journey ends after abducted boy and his mother caught and sent home


Source: Fathers 4 Equality blog

A BRITISH mother abducted her six-year-old son and spent three years country-hopping through Asia before settling in Melbourne, where she was finally taken to court and ordered to return home.

According to a Family Court judgment published this month, the mother and father of the boy were in the midst of a custody dispute when the mother said she was taking their son on a two-week trip to the Philippines to visit his sick grandmother. They never returned.

A court order seeking information about the trip went unanswered and, several months later, an English judge found that the child – referred to in court documents as ”B” – had been unlawfully removed.

Believing that his son was in the Philippines, which is not a signatory to the 1986 Convention on International Child Abduction, the father feared that there was little he could do to get the boy back.

The mother and son did not stay in the Philippines but embarked on a three-year journey which included a tour of Hong Kong, Macau and China, followed by a three-month stay in Malaysia.

They returned briefly to the Philippines but left again to spend a year in Dundee, Scotland, before eventually arriving in Melbourne.

The pair moved into a flat in Melbourne’s western suburbs, where they lived for eight months until last April.

Nearly three years after leaving England, the woman finally contacted her former partner, telling him that she and B were in Australia and asking him to sign documents so the child could remain there permanently.

The father refused and went to the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit, which immediately contacted the State Central Authority of Victoria.

The woman was tracked down, her passport seized and she was ordered to appear in the Family Court.

During the ensuing court case, the mother said her former partner had initially consented to B living with her overseas and had known about the year spent in Scotland. She said that she had tried unsuccessfully to contact him via email.

However, the woman conceded ”quietly [and] with a sense of resignation and disappointment” that the removal of the child was against the law and they would have to return home.

The mother and child were due to fly back to the UK on April 19, last year.

by Paul Bibby

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Vater packt über Motive der Kinder-Entführung aus


Der Vater der vier entführten Kinder aus der Lüneburger Heide hat bei der Justiz erstmals über seine Motive für die monatelange Flucht nach Afrika ausgepackt.

Der Mann sagte den Ermittlern, er sei mit dem Lebens- und Erziehungsstil seiner Ehefrau nicht einverstanden gewesen. Deswegen habe er seine vier Kinder, für die er kein Sorgerecht mehr hatte, ins Ausland gebracht.

„Er war auch mit der religiösen Erziehung durch die Mutter nicht einverstanden“, sagte Staatsanwalt Lars Janßen der Nachrichtenagentur dpa am Freitag in Celle. Ursprünglich habe der Vater geplant, mit den Geschwistern nach Griechenland zu flüchten, teilten die Ermittler mit. Dies habe der 37-Jährige dann aber verworfen, weil ihm die Gefahr einer Entdeckung dort zu groß erschienen sei.

Stattdessen war der 37-Jährige mit den Kindern mehr als vier Monate in Ägypten untergetaucht.

Vor rund zwei Wochen war er in Kairo entdeckt und festgenommen worden. Zwischenzeitlich hielt er sich mit den Geschwistern im Alter zwischen vier und neun Jahren auch im Sudan auf. Dort sei es ihm aber zu risikoreich erschienen, so dass er mit den Geschwistern nach Ägypten zurückkehrte.

In Kairo wohnte der Mann nach Angaben der Staatsanwaltschaft in einem nahezu ausschließlich von Ägyptern bewohnten Stadtteil. Touristische Ziele habe er aus Angst vor einer Entdeckung bewusst vermieden, gab der Vater bei seiner Vernehmung zu Protokoll. Ägyptische Polizeibeamte hatten den Mann in einem Internet-Café in Kairo entdeckt.

Der 37-Jährige sitzt in Untersuchungshaft. Er muss sich vor Gericht wegen Kindesentziehung verantworten. Dieses Delikt kann mit bis zu zehn Jahren Haft bestraft werden – in weniger schwerwiegenden Fällen kann aber auch nur eine Geldstrafe verhängt werden. (dpa)

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NOTE: We are always available, also during The Christmas holidays. Christmas is the high season for parental abductions.

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Father faces arrest warrant issued in Boynton Beach parental abduction case


Source: SunSentinel

Police say man abducted three-year-old daughter and took her to Mexico

An arrest warrant has been issued for Feliz De La Cruz Lopez who Boynton Beach police say abducted his three-year-old daughter Jazmin Lopez and took her to Mexico. (Boynton Beach Police Department)

A man that Boynton Beach police say last week abducted his three-year-old daughter and took her to Mexico now faces criminal charges and a push for extradition.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Feliz De La Cruz Lopez, 26, who faces a felony charge of interference with custody.

Boynton Beach police have been working with federal and state authorities to try to have him arrested and extradited from Mexico.

Police say that Feliz De La Cruz Lopez on Dec. 10 picked up his daughter, Jazmin Lopez, from her mother’s home on Southwest First Street for what was supposed to be a weekend visit.

But her mother, Irma Velasquez, 20, said calls and texts to Feliz De La Cruz Lopez went unanswered that day and much of the next.

Velasquez told police that “she became concerned since Feliz had threatened to take Jazmin to Mexico if Velasquez were to be with another man,” according the probable cause affidavit released Monday.

On Dec. 12, Velasquez received a call from her daughter who said she didn’t want to be with Velasquez any more, according to police.

On Dec. 13, Feliz De La Cruz Lopez called from his mother’s phone line in Mexico and “told Velasquez to say good-bye to her daughter Jazmin and told her that it would be the last time she would speak to her daughter,” according to the affidavit.

Velasquez has primary legal custody of Jazmin Lopez and never gave Feliz De La Cruz Lopez permission to take the girl out of the country, according to police.

Police have said they think Jazmin Lopez was taken to an area near Tabasco, Mexico.

Anyone with information about Lopez can call Boynton Beach Police Detective Rayner De Los Rios at 561-742-6153, Detective Sgt. Thomas Wallace at 561-742-6126 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS.

Information can also be submitted at http://www.bbpd.org and http://www.facebook.com/boyntonbeachpolice. Tips can be given anonymously.

abreid@tribune.com, 561-228-5504 or Twitter@abreidnews 

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NOTE: We are always available, also during The Christmas holidays. Christmas is the high season for parental abductions.

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443
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Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

Statsministerens bolig sto ubevoktet i tre timer etter terrorbomben


VG avslører denne uken at statsministerboligen hvor Statsministeren gikk i dekning etter bombeeksplosjonen, sto ubevoktet i 3 timer etter at bomben gikk av 22 Juli.  Han hadde også Justisministeren, Utenriksministeren og forsvarsministeren sammen med seg der. 

Vi mener at Norges mangelende beredskap, samt fravær av profesjonalitet i førstelinjeforsvaret gir stor grunn til bekymring.

VG) Til tross for at politiet fryktet nye angrep, var det ingen som voktet Statsministerboligen fra utsiden i de dramatiske timene etter terrorangrepet.

Flere har i ettertid reagert på den manglende beskyttelsen. Statsministerboligen ville vært et naturlig mål i et koordinert terrorangrep hvor det ble kjørt ut flere varebiler med sprengstoff.

Mens det ble etablert væpnet vakthold rundt Oslo universitetssykehus og politihuset på Grønland, var det ingen politipatruljer som var plassert utenfor boligen til Jens Stoltenberg.

Sittende i bilen

Oslo-politiet fikk tidlig beskjed om at statsministeren var i sikkerhet etter bombeangrepet og mannskapene ble i hovedsak benyttet til livreddende innsats.

Først rundt klokken 18 på kvelden kommer det beskjed fra staben på politihuset om at det skulle opprettes såkalte «sperreposter» rundt statsministerboligen, UD, Stortinget og Slottet for å sikre objektivene mot etterfølgende angrep.

Les også:Politihelikopteret over Oslo nesten seks timer etter terrorangrepet

Først rundt klokken 18.35 ankommer patruljen som er sendt opp fra Regjeringskvartalet. Ifølge VGs opplysninger blir polititjenestemennene sittende inne i bilen. De har tohåndsvåpen, maskinpistolen MP-5, liggende tilgjengelig i kjøretøyet. Bilen parkerer utenfor innkjørselen til statsministerens garasje i Inkognitogata bak Slottet.

Inne i boligen var det flere tjenestemenn fra livvakttjenesten til PST. De har et ansvar for nærbeskyttelse av statsministeren og statsrådene.

Etter en stund skal en av disse ha gått ut til patruljebilen. Ifølge VGs opplysninger skal patruljen ha fått en klar anbefaling om å gå ut av bilen og ta oppstilling utenfor huset, siden flere regjeringsmedlemmer var samlet inne i bygningen.

Et sikkert rom

Etter det VG får opplyst skal politirapporter vise at dette var første gang de operative mannskapene til Oslo-politiet ble klar over at landet ble styrt fra statsministerboligen i Inkognitogata kvelden 22. juli. Utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støre er den første av statsrådene som kommer hit. Det gjør han klokken 19.30.

Saken fortsetter under bildet…

Faksimile VG 18.10.2011
I løpet av den neste timen kommer både forsvarsminister Grete Faremo og justisminister Knut Storberget til statsministerboligen.I etterkant av samtalen med PST tar patruljen kontakt med innsatsleder og melder tilbake at hele Regjeringen er samlet der de står. Først da blir det iverksatt ytterligere vakthold rundt statsministerboligen og opptil 12 polititjenestemenn blir plassert rundt residensen.Les også:Regjeringen vil leie inn politihelikopte

– Statsministeren ble øyeblikkelig ført til et sikkert rom etter eksplosjonen i regjeringskvartalet. I tillegg var det da flere livvakter og sikkerhetspersonell i bygget. Bygget som sådan er ivaretatt med fysiske sikringstiltak, opplyser pressesjef Unni T. Grøndal i Oslo politidistrikt.

Ressurskrevende

Frem til det ble etablert såkalte «sperreposter» for å sikre regjeringsmedlemmene mot trusler fra utsiden, var det kun én politipatrulje i området bak Slottet. Denne patruljen kalles Sierra 39 og har konstant ansvar for objektsikringen av den israelske og amerikanske ambassaden. Alle var mulige terrormål 22. juli, i tillegg til Slottet og statsministerboligen i samme område.

Les også:Brukte 77 minutter på å slå riksalarm

– Vi har sammen med livvaktene registrert at arbeidet med sperringene for øvrig ble iverksatt ca. 18.35, og området ble ytterligere sikret etter at den totale ressurssituasjonen tillot dette, forteller Grøndal.

Sikringen av bygninger i etterkant av terrorangrepet var svært ressurskrevende. Natt til mandag 25. juli skal det derfor kun ha vært én politipatrulje i Oslos gater.

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Rally planned to raise awareness of parental abduction issue during Biden visit


Source: Japan Today

TOKYO —

Both foreign and Japanese left-behind parents will stage a street demonstration on Tuesday to coincide with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan.

The march will start from Mikawadai Park near Roppongi station (exit 6) and go past the U.S. Embassy and Japan Federation of Bar Associations, ending in Hibiya Park. The meeting starts at 11 a.m. and the march at 11:30 a.m.

Organizers said the purpose of the demonstration is to raise public awareness about the abduction issue and urge Biden to address child abduction publicly so that the human rights of children and parents are protected and abducted children are returned to their loving parents.

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UAE and Egypt rank high in UK parental child-abduction list


Source: Dubib.com

The UAE is one of the top locations for abductions of British children by one of their estranged parents, according to information released by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Arabian Business has learnt.


Countries that have not signed up to the 1980 Hague Convention, which includes those in the Middle East, are not compelled to abide by UK court orders to return a child abducted from the UK by either of its parents, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.

While a spokesperson from the FCO would not give a breakdown of the data by country, he did admit the UAE ranked high among the 97 countries included in the rankings and it was the highest in the GCC.

“In 2010/11 we saw the highest numbers of new child abductions cases to non-Hague Convention countries in Pakistan, Thailand, India, China, Algeria, Malaysia, Egypt, UAE, Ghana and Iran,” a FCO spokesperson old Arabian Business.


In the last year, data from the FCO said a total of 161 British children were taken by one of their parents and abducted abroad. This is a ten percent rise on previous years and has led to the launch of a campaign by the FCO to combat the issue.

“We are very concerned that we continue to see an increase in the number of cases of international parental child abduction. The latest figures suggest the problem affects people from all walks of life and not just certain types of families or particular countries,” said FCO Minister Jeremy Browne.

Sharon Cooke, advice line manager for Reunite International Child Abduction Centre in the UK, welcomed the latest advice and said while sometimes there were no warning signs, there are things people could look for which may indicate their child was at risk.

“The most obvious warning sign is a break down in a relationship but other signs may include a sudden interest in getting a passport or copy birth certificate for the child… There’s often a perception – fuelled by a number of high profile cases – that it’s about fathers abducting their children, however statistics show it is mainly mothers – either intentionally or unintentionally,” Cooke added.

Join the Group: International Parental Child Abduction

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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