More Money, More Problems: Chinese Wealthy Paying For Kidnap Survival Classes ( CAC )


August 22, 2013

Source: news-republic

When coming into new wealth, people may start spending on luxuries like fancy new cars, large homes or extravagant vacations. Some other people may want to spend their newfound wealth on something a little more unique.

kidnapped

According to a report by local Chinese newspaper Northern News, a company in the southern city of Shenzhen is offering a “simulated kidnapping experience” to those willing to pay for it. For 100,000 yuan, or about $16,360, customers can experience various moments of captivity and eventual escape. The company’s “Elite Danger Class” is an instructive course for people needing guidance on how to behave during a kidnapping and how to eventually escape. Think of it as wilderness-survival training, only for very specific ransom scenarios.

A company in southern Shenzhen, China is offering a service that will kidnap customers and eventually teach them how to escape for the hefty price of 100,000 RMB. China Navis/ Northern News

Most of the people who sign up for the classes are the extremely wealthy and believe being kidnapped is a reality that they could potentially face. According to China Navis, the class will serve as a pre-emptive education in case an incident of kidnapping or hostage-taking arises, something that has happened in the past.

Hostage-takings in China are almost always related to money. Most recently, an American executive of a medical supplies company, Chip Starnes, was held hostage by a group of factory workers over claims of unequal severance packages that were announced after layoffs. Roughly 100 or so employees were responsible for holding Starnes at the company’s Beijing factory — they also claimed that they hadn’t been paid some of their wages.

A Forbes story reported that while business disputes in the U.S. or in Western culture in general is often handled in courts or through various legal procedures, don’t expect the Chinese to settle their disputes through their lawyers. Particularly with smaller or private companies, it is not entirely uncommon for people to resort to physical abduction until debts are paid or money terms are settled. While hostage situations have rarely turned violent, ensuring that local authorities have no reason to intervene, the reality is that negotiating oneself out of varying degrees of danger is something that many high-powered business people end up needing to know.

Still, a 100,000 yuan course seems like a ridiculous price tag to pay for preparation of something that may or may not happen. Fortunately for the people running the classes, while they can’t sell “guaranteed safety,” they can still capitalize on selling a sense of security.

Read also about ABP World Group`s CAC ( Conduct After Capture )  Training 

 

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Abductors free daughter, 10, of Bulgaria ‘drug lord’


April 29, 2013

Source: Krmagazine.com

Police said Monday that the kidnapped 10-year-old daughter of one of Bulgaria’s alleged cocaine-trafficking lords, Evelin “Brendo” Banev has been released after 47 days in captivity

Kidnap_Bulgaria

Abductors free daughter, 10, of Bulgaria ‘drug lord’

The kidnapped 10-year-old daughter of one of Bulgaria’s alleged cocaine-trafficking lords, Evelin “Brendo” Banev has been released after 47 days in captivity, police said Monday.

Lara Baneva was left at a parking lot in the capital around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) Sunday and walked to a nearby police station, the interior ministry said. The girl was in good physical condition and was put under psychological care, it added.

State BNR radio reported that a ransom of 500,000 euros ($653,000) was paid for her release, but the information was not officially confirmed. According to private bTV television the kidnappers had initially demanded 2.0 million leva (1.0 million euros, $1.3 million) from the Banev family.

Lara Baneva was kidnapped on March 5 in the posh Boyana neighbourhood on Sofia’s outskirts while being driven to school. Witness reports said three masked men had opened fire on the car, wounding the driver and abducting her. The case was the first high-profile kidnapping of such a young child in Bulgaria.

The girl’s father, a 48-year-old former wrestler, was sentenced by a Sofia court on February 15 to seven and a half years in jail for laundering drug-dealing profits worth almost two million euros ($2.6 million).

The police operation against him and his accomplices was called “Cocaine Kingpins.”

Eastern_European_Mafia_Police

Banev was subsequently extradited to Italy, where he is now standing trial for allegedly trafficking 40 tonnes of cocaine from Latin America to Europe for the ‘Ndrangheta mafia between 2004 and 2007.

Lara Baneva’s kidnapping was the first in Bulgaria since 2009, when police broke up a nine-member gang nicknamed “The Bold” that carried out over a dozen abductions for ransom in 2008 and 2009.

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ABP World Group – Executive Protection and Anti Kidnap Services


The issues of security and threats have changed dramatically over the past years and the need for professional protection has increased.

ABP World Group provides Close Protection services, surveillance and investigation worldwide.Our personnel are discrete and professional, with international training and experience.
ABP World Group is a complete Security service.
Our experience and training gives our organization the capability to operate and assist our clients whenever and wherever they need us.

ABP world will provide you with professional security personnel that is prepared to handle any challenge that comes to our theatre of operation.

ABP World Group provides quality security services.

Most of ABP’s security operatives have extensive medical training with competence in advanced medical treatment.
Remember Knowledge Training and Experience is the key to a successful operation.

ABP World Group`s experienced security operatives will provide your project with safe logistical management, planning and operations

• Executive protection
• Close protection high or low profile
• Surveillance
• Investigation
• Security consulting
• Medical services
• Anti kidnap logistics and planning
• Abducted and missing children recovery
• Missing person investigations
• Panic room / Safe room construction
• Risk Management

Contact us for assistance. We help clients worldwide

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Kidnap and extortion


Source: SOCA

The threat of kidnap continues to concern UK communities, law enforcement, and commerce and industry throughout the world. This is despite the fact that the UK is acknowledged by the United Nations as a world leader in reducing the harm caused by kidnap and blackmail offences. High profile kidnaps abroad cause harm at international, community and regional level. 

During 2008/09, police forces reported 2,034 kidnappings to the Home Office, a slight increase (2%) on 2007/08. Nonetheless, in recent years the overall trend in reported kidnaps is downward and the current figure is almost 30% less than in 2001/02 (2,795).  In practice, however, the true kidnapping figures are unknown.

Different types of kidnap

It’s likely that many kidnaps go unreported, as often the hostage and the person subject to the kidnappers’ demands are themselves criminals and have no wish to involve the law. These “vendetta kidnaps” generally revolve around debt disputes, for example linked to drug deals.

“Tiger kidnaps” involve the holding of a hostage, usually a close relative of the victim, to force the victim to facilitate a robbery.

Kidnappings abroad

Overseas, UK nationals are at greater risk of kidnap in areas of recent conflict or instability. There has also been an increase in the kidnapping of foreign nationals, for example in Pakistan, with ransom demands being made to overseas family members, including those in the UK.

In South Africa, criminals commit fraud by deceiving people to invest in items such as scrap metal and then lure victims to the country to be kidnapped to obtain ransom money. This technique has previously been associated with criminals in west Africa, including Nigeria.

Extortion / blackmail

Blackmail covers a multitude of criminal activities, including product contamination, and uses threats to get money, although other demands may also be made.

As with kidnaps, the true extent of blackmail and extortion offences (including “protection rackets”) by serious organised criminals is not known.  Fear, and damage to reputation in the case of retail businesses, may make victims unwilling to report instances.

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One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

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More Norwegian children snatched


The number of children taken illegally out of Norway by one of their separated parents has more than doubled in the past year.

Nearly 400 Norwegian children have disappeared overseas in the past decade, and authorities fear economic motives are behind several of the abductions.


Under Norwegian law, a parent who loses his or her child to their former partner must still continue to pay child support. As long as the child lives with one of the parents, the other must pay child support, even if a Norwegian court has ruled that the child was illegally abducted.

‘Good business’

Child support payments often amount to around NOK 5,000 (USD 900), a lot of money in many countries. ”Rumors are beginning to fly overseas that it’s good business to abduct Norwegian children,” Martin Waage of security firm ABP World Group Ltd. told newspaper Aftenposten. “I know of some cases where the abductions were probably planned even before the children were conceived.” Most of the children abducted between 2004 and 2010 were taken to Sweden, followed by Great Britain and the US. total of 64 children disappeared last year, compared to 31 in 2009, according to figures from the ministries of justice and foreign affairs.

Martin Waage specializes in child abductions and dealt with around 50 cases last year alone. In the most difficult cases, he has found children and brought them home to Norway after armed counter-abductions. Government officials agree that child support laws can be a motivating factor in some cases, and state secretary Astri Aas-Hansen in the Justice Ministry told Aftenposten that they’re reviewing current regulations: “We see that (the child support) can contribute towards the child being abducted and held abroad.”

‘High priority’

She said the ministry is making child abductions a high priority. Police have received special instructions in how to handle abductions, Norway has hosted seminars for judges and others in the Baltic countries, for example, and efforts are being made to urge other countries to adopt international rules against child abductions. The problem is that many countries like Slovakia haven’t followed up on the rules.

“We have put this on the agenda in international circles,” Aas-Hansen told Aftenposten. The ministry also has compiled a website, in English, with information and tips for parents involved in abduction cases.

The efforts haven’t yet helped fathers like Tommy Hoholm, who has been trying to retrieve his two sons from their mother, who took them to Slovakia. He hasn’t seen them for four years, despite court rulings in both Norway and Slovakia that he has custody of the boys. He told Aftenposten their mother is keeping them hidden, something she denies.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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THE LEFT-BEHIND PARENT


Your Experience of Missing-Child Trauma

Source:www.lilaclane.com/missing-children/left-behind/

Your child has been kidnapped or is missing, and here on the internet you’ll find a lot of valuable support, legal information, and contacts. However, there will be many difficult hours where you will feel very much alone — and this page is meant to help you get through those times.
THE INITIAL CRISIS
The first few days are incredibly confusing. You’ll receive a lot of advice. Here’s a little more. 

ENLIST A GUARDIAN
You need a cool head to guide you. As the left-behind parent, you’re going to be in shock, so your intellectual capabilities will be compromised. Enlist a relative or friend to be your crisis Guardian — you will need them to stay with you and accompany you to all appointments. Ideally, they should take a week off from work to be by your side.

If you have a current spouse living with you, they should not try to fill this role. They can’t — they’re in shock too. You need a third person, someone with enough emotional distance to stay calm.

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS
Start an activity log and keep it up every day. This will be difficult because the world’s going to be pulling you in ten directions at once, but as the hours and days pass, everything’s going to become a big blur — so you absolutely have to keep track. Get a blank book, notebook or ledger; and every day, record the important points of each meeting with police, phone calls with organizations, etc.  If you don’t have an answering machine, pick one up so that you won’t miss any incoming assistance.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Sleep when you’re able to sleep. Eat when you’re able to eat.

Your body is going to go haywire. Eating will be difficult. Your stomach will often be churning. Carry Tums with you at all times, and nibble them when necessary. Your ability to digest food will disappear, so you’ll need to adapt your eating habits. Keep a wide selection of snacks available, and try to eat at every opportunity. For meals, you’ll have better luck if you try lighter fare than usual. A chicken salad will stay down better than a heavy steak. Drink constantly — dehydration causes disorientation.

Often, you’ll be awake all night, then exhausted the whole next day, so grab your Z’s whenever you can. If it’s 3 pm and you have a gap before a 4 pm meeting, grab the opportunity and lie down. If necessary, take a sleeping pill at bedtime (particularly if nightmares are waking you repeatedly). Sleep deprivation leads to slowed mental processes and, later, paranoia — so you absolutely must get sleep, whenever and however possible.

Since your body and mind are going to be stretched to the limits of endurance, it’s strongly recommended that you go to a 24-hour clinic (or emergency room) and have them prescribe something to stabilize your emotions. A doctor will know what kind of medication can help you get through this trauma. It’s very important that you maintain your sanity no matter how nightmarish the experience becomes.

THE SECOND PHASE
Your emotions will change after the first few days of the crisis. The initial agony is from not knowing from minute to minute. Later, the agony is not knowing day after day.

Most of the time, you’ll find yourself in one of three coping states:

1. INTELLECTUAL STATE. This is the state you need to be in when you’re talking with police, touching base with your lawyer, researching information on what to do, etc. You have to be mentally focused, which usually means that at times you have to push your emotions underneath and try not to think too much about your child except in abstract terms. This state is sometimes forced on you (due to appointments) even when you don’t feel ready. Other times this state will come to you naturally, and you’ll find yourself actively digging through documents and reading information paks.

2. EMOTIONAL STATE. In this state of mind it’s very difficult to focus on anything mentally. Your thoughts are with your child, where they might be, how they might be doing, you miss them and want to comfort them. Crying relieves physical stress, and you’re under tremendous stress, so don’t cut your tears short. If you start to cry, try to sob it out of your system without holding back. Don’t restrict your crying. Enlist your guardian to comfort you — and if you feel the need, hug one of your child’s stuffed animals.

There will be times when you are caught in your reeling emotions, unable to respond to intellectual challenges around you. At these times it will be important for your crisis Guardian to be with you, so they can answer authorities’ questions, help make decisions, etc.

Seeing the child’s photos or toys around the house may become too painful. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to put away these toys, move the photos, or close the door to the child’s room. You are not abandoning their memory. After all, your thoughts are with them constantly. But you do need some control over your emotional cycles, especially when it’s time to gather information or make decisions — at times like that, a photo within sight may be unnecessary torment. Make adjustments in your home if you feel the need, and don’t feel bad about it. You need to keep your head together, in order to fight for your child’s well-being.

3. DRIFTING STATE. There will be times that you’re so exhausted or in such shock that you don’t feel anything at all. You’ll find yourself staring blankly at a wall, or drifting with no thought as you look right through the book or screen in front of you. This is a natural result of the trauma. It’s a time when your system can regroup — recharging your batteries, so to speak. Your intellectual and emotional states burn extraordinary amounts of energy out of your body, so if and when you enter a listless state, don’t fight it. Drift and let your thoughts remain unfocused. Your body and mind can use this time to recover.

All three of these states will be useful to you, and should occur as a natural cycle. If you find yourself stuck in a counterproductive state for longer than one day, go to a 24-hour clinic and have a doctor prescribe medication to help you cope.

DISTRACTIONS
There will be times when you can do nothing — times when you’re supposed to wait for a callback or the next step in the proceedings. Such times are painful as you wait for the world to acknowledge the urgency of this situation… and the wheels of justice grind so slow they’ll seem to have stopped. If you’re at a waiting point, it’s important not to work yourself into hysteria over these empty minutes. You need to seek distraction, or you’re just going to overstress yourself. You’ll particularly need distraction on Saturdays and Sundays, when cases are often placed on hold.

Television is usually a great relaxer, but at this time it won’t be. As you flip the channels you’ll see cartoons, children’s shows, commercials with children — everywhere you look there will be children, including children who look like or remind you of your own child. So don’t channel-surf. Get a TV guide and select a specific show to watch, then turn directly to that program. Choose shows that won’t assail you with family-focus commercials. Good bets are CNN, Animal Planet, nature shows, or non-family movies. Even better, pick videotapes to watch.

GOING OUT
Much of the work of regaining your child will have to do with your phone. You’ll be calling people and waiting for return calls, checking in with lawyers and detectives, and giving updates to family members. Consequently you will frequently find yourself trapped at home. Over time this will make you feel like a freak in a cave. You need to get outside once in a while.

When you go into public with the intention of re-charging your emotional batteries, try not to put yourself into stressful situations. Don’t go to fast-food restaurants; you’ll see many children that remind you of your missing child. Money is an issue now due to the costs of the search, but don’t discount your need to reduce stress. Two visits to McDonalds can be traded for one visit to a nice restaurant, late in the evening, when there won’t be any children dining there.

Shopping is a major source of stress. Malls and supermarkets are full of child-reminders. Ask your Guardian to do the shopping for you. Alternatively, shop at 7-Eleven late in the evening.

Lest this sound like we’re discounting natural emotion:  there’s nothing wrong with allowing your emotions full expression. But it’s much more comforting to let those feelings flow when you want to (instead of when the world forces it on you), in the security of your home, where your loved ones can comfort you and you can express yourself fully.

Good luck with your search.  May you soon be happily reunited with your beloved child.

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National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – This is the ONLY website at which you need to register your child as missing.  NCMEC is a non-profit system with federal affiliation; they work with the law enforcement divisions on your case.  Most other “list your missing child here” websites are hosted by people who’ll contact you and promise to find your child in exchange for large amounts of money.  If you need that kind of help, look for legitimate private-investigator listings, or recovery sites that don’t ask you to “register” your missing child in their database — don’t get duped by people who risk children’s lives for money.

Missing (tv show) – If your child has been classified ‘missing endangered’, see if this show will present your case

Federal Parent Locator Service – 18 USC 55318 USC 663

Missing Children Search Aids – List of contacts

Divorcenet.com – Legal information

Hague Convention Agreement – A means for requesting the return of internationally kidnapped children

Hague Participating Countries – Country by country

Child Abduction Resources – U.S. Department of State

Canada – International Kidnapping Information

International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act, 18 U.S.Code §1204

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (1980), 28 U.S.C. §1738A

Federal Law / Missing Children Title 42, Chapter 72, Subchapter IV, 5771+

International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. §11601

Missing Children Record-Flagging Act – Not in force in all areas yet

Bring Tessie Home page – Our personal struggle with parental kidnapping

Emotional AbuseStalking – Traumas that foreshadow impending parental kidnapping

Laurie’s Webpage Theme Sets – Thank you, Laurie, for the design of this page

Lost links (I’m trying to track them down):
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (1979), 43 U.S.C. §458A
National Child Search Assistance Act (1990), 42 U.S.C. § 5780)
Homepage of Maureen and Missing Child Nadia

Search Google for more webpages about Parental Abduction

Gift From Within – for those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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The Recovery of Internationally Abducted Children – A Comprehensive Guide (excellent)

When Parents Kidnap

Not Without my Daughter

For the Love of a Child

Torn From my Heart: A Mother’s Search for her Stolen Children

Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America (focuses mostly on non-parental kidnappings)

Obstacles to the Recovery and Return of Parentally Kidnapped Children and many other excellent references at OJJDP

If you need to raise money for your child-abduction case,
it’s possible for you to receive donations from people
via the internet.  Click these links to see how it works.
Sample donation link – Amazon.com
Sample donation link – PayPal.com

Most child kidnappings involve a parent or relative as kidnapper, and that is the experience of our family. However, if your situation is different — the child has been kidnapped by a stranger, or is missing due to other circumstances (such as a runaway) — this page will speak to your experiences too, so please read on….


Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Top judge says mothers should have children taken away if they don’t let fathers see them


Source: Daily Mail

Mothers who refuse to let separated fathers see their children should have them taken away, a senior family court judge said yesterday. The children should be handed over to the full time care of the father if the mother persistently defies court orders, Mr Justice Coleridge said.

He called for a ‘three strikes and you’re out rule’ by which children would be taken away if mothers ignored three court orders. The judge said that family courts are losing their authority because so many people take no notice of their judgments. Around 5,000 new cases a year come before the family courts in which parents – almost always mothers – defy orders to let the other parent have contact.

Judges are extremely reluctant to jail such mothers because of the damaging effects on the children, so many continue to get away with it. Mr Justice Coleridge, 61, said: ‘If I were to call it three strikes and you’re out it sounds insensitive but something like it perhaps should be the norm.’ He added that occasionally it might be necessary to send a mother to jail.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1333549/Top-judge-says-mothers-children-taken-away-dont-let-fathers-them.html#ixzz19hZkaJDX

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CHILD ABDUCTION PREVENTION


CHILD ABDUCTION PREVENTION

The following information is excerpted from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In light of the high profile abductions of several children, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) encourages families not to panic. Instead, parents need to empower themselves with information that can help protect their children.

CHILD ABDUCTION: STATISTICS

  • Parental abductions and runaway cases make up the majority of missing children in the United States. In 2002 there were about 797,500 children reported missing, or nearly 2,185 per day. The vast majority of these cases were recovered quickly; however, the parent or guardian was concerned enough to contact law enforcement and they placed the child into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center – a computerized national database of criminal justice information. It is available to Federal, state and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.
  • Each year there are about 3,000 to 5,000 non-family abductions reported to police, most of which are short term sexually-motivated cases. About 200 to 300 of these cases, or 6 percent, make up the most serious cases where the child was murdered, ransomed or taken with the intent to keep.
  • The NCMEC analyzed more than 4200 attempted abductions from February 2005 to March 2010 and found that 38% of attempted abductions occur while a child is walking alone to or from school, riding the school bus or riding a bicycle; 37% of attempted abductions occur between the hours of 2:00pm through 7:00pm on a weekday; 43% of attempted abductions involve children between the ages of 10 and 14; 72% of attempted abduction victims are female; 68% of attempted abductions involve the suspect driving a vehicle.
  • Research shows that of the 58,000 non-family abductions each year 63% involved a friend, long-term acquaintance, neighbor, caretaker, baby sitter or person of authority; only 37% involved a stranger.

SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS:

  • Be sure to go over the rules with your children about whose homes they can visit when you’re not there and discuss the boundaries of where they can and can’t go in the neighborhood.
  • Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away, and practice role-playing and basic safety skills with them.
  • Teach your children in whose car they may ride. Children should be cautioned never to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent or trusted adult.
  • Make sure children know their names, address, telephone numbers and how to use the telephone.
  • Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends and neighbors.

SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN:

  • Always check first with your parents or the person in charge before you go anywhere or do anything.
  • Always take a friend when you play or go somewhere.
  • Don’t be tricked by adults who offer you special treats or gifts or ask you for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no and get away from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or confused. Trust your feelings.
  • Don’t get into a car or go near a car with someone in it unless you are with your parents or a trusted adult.
  • Never take a ride from someone without checking first with your parents.
  • Never go into a public restroom by yourself.
  • Never go alone to the mall, movies, video arcades or parks.
  • Stay safe when you’re home alone by keeping the door locked. Do not open the door for or talk to anyone who stops by unless the person is a trusted family friend or relative.

INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL ABDUCTION

In situations where parents have not resolved the issue of child custody, and one of the parents has ties to another country, there is the risk that that parent might take the child with them to a foreign country. Parents who are in this situation can find useful information about international parental abduction in “A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping” published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

For emergency assistance contact:

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group Ltd. is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child.
We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

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Parental Child Abduction and Abducted Children Recovery


Christmas holidays – A time for parental child abductions

The holiday season sees a sharp rise in the number of parental abductions in Australia.  With emotions running high between separated and divorced parents during the Christmas/New Year period, a small number of parents will take the drastic step of abducting their own children.  Most of these children are eventually recovered, but a small number of parents will experience the agony of never seeing their children again. Read more below.

The number of British children abducted by one of their parents and taken abroad is set to double as the holidays start, the Foreign Office has warned.

Read more here: The Telegraph

Airlines Sued for Their Role in Parental Child Abduction

Read more here:Lawdiva’s Blog

Steps You can Take To Prevent Parental Child Abduction

Read the article here: ABP World Group Ltd`s Blog

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 1

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 2

For Help and assistance: ABP World Group international recovery services

Follow our updates on Twitter and FacebookOur website: http://www.abpworld.com

International child abductions tear families apart


By: Katie Worth

Dusk had long since fallen over the jungles of northwestern Honduras, but Lt. Carlos Sanchez could still make out the three children playing in the dirty yard of the bare hut his team had surrounded.

Those children, ages 3, 6 and 8, were his quarry. Sanchez, an investigator from the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, had been searching for them for the better part of a year. The children had been abducted from San Francisco by their father in June 2008, and he had carefully hidden them. It took an exhaustive investigation to follow their trail here. Though his team was close, Sanchez knew they had to be careful because smuggling and other crime made this border village dangerous.

The children were victims of what the U.S. Department of State believes is a growing phenomenon: international child abduction. According to State Department statistics, there are about 3,000 children currently missing who have been abducted by a parent and ensconced out of the U.S. At least 400 of those missing children are from California — about 50 from the Bay Area.

The issue of international child abduction briefly received widespread attention last Christmas when a New Jersey father successfully retrieved his 9-year-old son from Brazil, where his mother had taken him for a visit and never returned. After her death, the boy’s stepfather refused to return him to the U.S. until courts forced him to.

The international press treated the Brazil case as an anomaly. In fact, the number of open international kidnapping cases have doubled in about a decade: In 1998, there were about 1,000 open cases, according to nonprofit Committee for Missing Children. Today, there are about 2,000 open cases, State Department spokesman Ryan Palsrok said.

In part because of the sharp increase, State Department officials visited San Francisco last month and met with many of the families awaiting their children’s return, Palsrok said.

Rising numbers are tied to the increasing ease and affordability of international travel. The poor economy may also encourage more kidnappings, with unemployed parents deciding to return to their home countries, Palsrok said.

The abductions are complicated, because both parents often feel they are right in their actions. Because the abductions are international, multiple countries’ legal systems are often involved, as well as an international body empowered by a 1980 Hague Conference treaty.

According to the treaty, an abducted child must be returned to his or her “country of habitual residence,” whose courts will determine the best outcome for the child.

In the Honduran case Sanchez was working last spring, the children’s mother had sole custody of her children, but the father had visiting rights. On June 13, 2008, the father picked up the children for a scheduled visit and told them he was taking them to Disneyland. When the mother did not hear from them, she tried and failed to contact the father. She found his apartment empty. She suspected he would take the children to Honduras, where he had family.

The City’s District Attorney’s Office became involved because in California, the State Department asks those offices to take a lead in finding internationally abducted children.

The mother was beside herself with anxiety. In a court document a year later, she wrote that her sole comfort was their scent still stuck on their clothes, which she sniffed every day, “until they smelled no more.”

Investigators learned the father drove to Texas in a rented car, put the children in the back of a truck and drove them through Mexico and into Honduras. He stayed with them for several weeks, but eventually left them with his family in a village outside the city of San Pedro Sula.

When the investigation pinpointed them, Sanchez and a recovery team flew down. After securing the perimeter with local police, Sanchez and his team approached the hut and talked to the children’s grandmother. He explained the children were going to come with him and be returned to their mother.

The children had been sleeping on old mattresses, had been bitten by bats and mosquitoes and were infected with lice. They did not want to leave, in part because they had been told that their mother didn’t want them anymore, and that their father would go to jail if they ever left with authorities.

The District Attorney’s Office requested the family not be identified.

“It’s always really dramatic for children, because they’re usually being ripped from someone they love,” Sanchez said. “We told them they were leaving and they were crying.”

But a day later in the U.S., comforted, debriefed and prepared for the reunification, they rushed into their mother’s arms.

“It was like day and night,” he said. “It’s great to see a reunification. Unless you’re dead, you can’t go without crying.”

Mexico abduction yields happy ending

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office sees about two child custody cases a month, but in most of them, both parents are within the county, and one of them is keeping the child a little longer than they should.

Sometimes, however, Inspector Ivan Grosshauser responds to cases where a child has been taken out of the country without the permission of the other parent or the courts.

In one case, he recalled, a couple with a 4-year-old son split up, and the father, “kind of a control guy,” asked for sole custody. When San Mateo County’s family court granted dual custody, the father took the child to Mexico.

The mother was reluctant to approach law enforcement because she was not a U.S. citizen, but finally did so when the father told her he would not allow her to speak to her son unless she sent him money. The situation deteriorated quickly, Grosshauser said.

“At some point he threatened the mother that if she came to get the child, he would kill the child,” he said.

A break came when the father left the child briefly with the mother’s relatives, and they contacted her. Grosshauser flew to Mexico City. The family turned over the child, who was excited to return to his mother.

“It was a very long day — we flew back from Mexico City to Tijuana so I could walk him over the border, and then got on another flight in San Diego,” he said.

“But after that long day, at 10:30 at night, I pulled up to the meeting place, and the mother was there, and I opened the car door and the little boy steps out, and there was that absolute spontaneous yelp of a mother who never thought she’d see her kid again,” Grosshauser said. “It was very, very satisfying for me.”

Guarding against international parental child kidnapping

– A well-written custody decree: This can be an important line of defense against international parental child abductions. The decree can include a statement that explicitly prohibits your child from traveling abroad without your permission or that of the court. If the other parent has significant ties to a foreign country, the court can require that parent to post a bond that would be forfeited if they leave with the child.

– Passport Issuance Alert Program: You may ask that the State Department alert you if an application for a U.S. passport for the child is received. Because it is much easier to travel out of the country with a child if the child has a passport, preventing one from being issued can deter international travel.

– Quickly alert the State Department: If the child is in the process of being abducted but is not yet abroad, contact the department’s Office of Children’s Issues. The office can work with law enforcement in the U.S. and in other countries to try to stop the departure of children being abducted from the U.S.

The Office of Children’s Issues can be reached at (202) 736-9090 during working hours, and (888) 407-4747 evenings, holidays and weekends. For additional details on missing children, visit www.missingkids.com. If you have information on a missing child, call (800) 843-5678

Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues

Unresolved cases

2,000: Open cases of international parental abductions known by the U.S. Department of State

3,000: Children involved in these cases

400: Children taken from California

50: Children taken from the Bay Area

50: Percent increase in cases reported to the State Department in the last two years

62: Countries on six continents where children from California have been taken

Source: U.S. Department of State

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/international-child-abductions-tear-families-apart#ixzz18UrRDW1r

For emergency assistance contact:

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group Ltd. is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child.
We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

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