India: Govt may propose caveat to Hague treaty on child abduction



The Centre is deliberating on proposing a caveat to the Hague convention dealing with international child custody issues to secure the rights of NRI women. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on Tuesday sought suggestions from all stakeholders on the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) as part of a concept note on its website. The deadline for submissions is July 31, a ministry official said.

“Our mandate is to suggest changes to the law so that it is more suitable to the Indian situation. When a victim of domestic abuse returns to India from abroad, we should not ask her to go back,” said a member of a committee set up by the ministry. The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child abducted by a parent from one member country to another.

India had refused to ratify the convention in the past, arguing that it would have mandated the government to send back women, who have escaped bad marriages abroad and brought their child along with them to India, to the country of their husbands’ residence. The concept note by the WCD ministry has been prepared by the committee set up to look into trans-national custody issues and deliberate upon a 2016 draft law prepared by the ministry– the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016.

“The (committee) has to look into all aspects of the (Hague) Convention and figure out how to modify the treaty to address Indian concerns,” a ministry official said, adding that India was unlikely to sign the convention in its current form. The Hague Convention came into force in 1983 to ensure that any child ‘wrongfully’ removed or retained from the ‘habitual residence’ is returned. Under this, the burden of proof rests with the “abducting parent”, who is required to provide “clear and convincing evidence” of abuse of the child.

Countries like the USA and UK are signatories to the the convention. Though the Japanese government deliberated for years about signing the convention, it finally inked the pact in 2014 with a caveat that children exposed to adult domestic violence would be considered at “grave risk” in that country. This could set a precedent for India and other countries.

NRI women have opposed the convention saying that most of them have had to flee foreign lands to escape abuse and violence. The WCD committee member said that the panel was deliberating on certain terminologies like “child’s habitual residence” in the convention and seeking to redefine them in the Indian context.

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‘Godmothers’ Increasingly Powerful in Italian Mafia Families

October 30, 2016


There has been a steady increase in the number of women in power positions among the different branches of the Italian Mafia, with some as brutal and calculating as the men they are replacing, according to recent reports.


In the Camorra, for instance, the Naples-based Mafia clan, prosecutors estimate that the number of active women is 10 times higher than it was in the 1980s or ‘90s, and many more women are winding up arrested or killed.

Analysts suggest that the reason behind female Mafiose rising to power has nothing to do with feminist empowerment and everything to do with demographics. Women are taking over when their male family members are sent to jail or killed.

“There is a growing number of women who hold executive roles in the Camorra,” said General Gaetano Maruccia, commander of the Carabinieri paramilitary police in the Naples area. “They are either widows of mob bosses or wives of husbands who have been put in prison. They hold the reins.”

Mothers, daughters, sisters and sisters-in-law are “assuming ever-more leading roles,” according to Stefania Castaldi, a Naples-based prosecutor who investigates organized crime.

But for whatever the motives, the transition has been real and relentless.

“In Naples, we say, ‘The bosses gave their balls to their wives,’” says Cristina Pinto, a reformed Camorra boss who served 23 years of jail time for her crimes.

“Now the power is in the hands of the women mobsters. These women are worse than men. They order murders just like that, not even thinking about the consequences. They are violent and irrational. Money and power make them crazy,” she said.

This phenomenon is not limited to Naples. Women bosses or “godmothers” can now be found in every branch of the Italian Mafia: the Camorra in Naples, the Cosa Nostra in Sicily. the ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria, and the Sacra Corona Unita in Apulia.

According to the Italian Ministry of Justice, more than 150 Mafia women are now locked up in Italian prisons, and nearly all of them had leadership roles in one of the Mafia branches.


In Sicily, for instance, having women in positions of power in Cosa Nostra is now an accepted reality, something that wasn’t the case just a few decades ago. According to one Palermo prosecutor, Francesca Mazzocco, there are around 20 Cosa Nostra families active in the main cities and towns of Sicily, a third of which are either led by women or have women among their most powerful members.

“If the husband was very strong, then the woman gets more respect,” Ms. Mazzocco said.

One of the groundbreakers was Giuseppa (Giusy) Vitale, the first woman considered the real head of a Sicilian crime family, or in local jargon, one of the “bosses in skirts and high heels.”

“Giusy is a woman who sacrificed her femininity to almost become a man, shaped by her brothers in their image and likeness, ruthless and cruel, ready to order a murder with the click of her fingers,” says Alessandra Ziniti, a journalist in Palermo with the Italian daily La Repubblica.

To avoid prison, Vitale later became a pentita, collaborating with law enforcement, and reportedly now lives under a witness protection program in a secret location.

Another Sicilian godmother, Teresa Marino, allegedly took over for her husband, Tommaso Lo Presti, when the latter was sent to prison for his Mafia activities in Palermo.

“The role she assumed as head of the clan shows that times have changed – these days there is equality of the sexes, even within Cosa Nostra,” said Leonardo Agueci, a Palermo prosecutor.

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Instruction Manual Details Kidnapping Techniques

October 28, 2016


JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli security forces came across an instruction manual for Gaza-based terrorists detailing the art of kidnapping Israelis. It’s not the first ever discovered, but the meticulous details reveal a new level of sophistication.


Security forces discovered the manual on a suspect’s computer, Israel Hayom reported, quoting a Channel 10 news segment aired earlier this week.

According to the report, the “abduction manual” guides jihadists on how to successfully kidnap Israelis without being caught.

Suggestions include finding an isolated target away from police stations, IDF bases or checkpoints, with multiple escape roots and few patrols. Terror cells should choose slim targets for easy transport and should keep the victim sedated at all times.

Terror cells should select optimum times for abductions, preferably at night and not during high security alerts. Inclement weather and natural disasters are a good time to strike, according to the manual, and kidnappers should make every effort to “blend in with their surroundings and speak Hebrew with people around them.”

The manual even suggests avoiding times when global attacks are grabbing all the media attention.

Cell members must be physically fit, experienced in hand-to-hand combat, and have prior experience in carrying out terror attacks.

“The place where the captive is held must be spacious and have many rooms so not to arouse the landlord or neighbors’ suspicions,” while kidnappers should “be sure to provide sufficient logistical equipment for the captive’s imprisonment, including food, water and clothing, as well as sedatives to keep the captive in a constant state of sleep,” Israel Hayom reported.

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Man charged in kidnapping of stepdaughter, 13, and her infant son

October 13, 2016


A Madison County man captured in West Virginia last month and accused of abducting his 13-year-old stepdaughter and her infant son has been brought back to Illinois.


Christopher M. Derleth, 39, was being held in the Madison County Jail on Wednesday morning.

Authorities say Derleth was found by authorities in a rural part of West Virginia last month with his stepdaughter Katherine Derleth and her 3-week-old son. He waived extradition there and was returned to Illinois.

Derleth is being held in Madison County in lieu of $200,000 bail on charges of aggravated kidnapping and parental abduction.

Katherine and her baby had been reported missing from a foster home in rural Madison County on Sept. 17.

The next week, West Virginia police and Madison County deputies tracked down Derleth after he used a credit card at a convenience store. Katherine and the baby were with him. They were found on Sept. 24 in a remote campsite near Kayford, a small rural mining community more than 500 miles east of St. Louis.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that the girl and her son were in good condition. They are in protective custody.

Two weeks before the son was born, Christopher Derleth was barred by a court order from seeing his stepdaughter pending a criminal investigation in Bond County. His stepdaughter had lived with him before the order.

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How to protect your children from being kidnapped

October 6, 2016


“I have found missing children in brothels, dead and drugged.”

In light of the rise in the number of missing children cases in Krugersdorp, the most recent being that of Dineo Mokoena, a Monument High school pupil who went missing near the school, child safety must become a priority.


It is impossible to prevent an abduction, but there is no harm in being informed and prepared should something happen. The News spoke to Jacqui Thomas, the Director of the Pink Ladies Missing Children Organisation.

“Most true abductions occur when victims are 14 or younger and unable to defend themselves,” Jacqui told the News. She went on to say that female children are more likely to be abducted although there are many instances where male children are taken for sexual purposes as well.

The main differences between the crimes of kidnapping and abduction:

The victim in a kidnapping can be an adult or a child, but for the crime to be classified as abduction, the victim has to be a minor.

A kidnapper’s intention is to limit either the victim’s freedom of movement or the parental authority of the victim’s custodians. In the crime of abduction, the perpetrator has an additional intention, namely for himself or someone else to marry or have sexual intercourse with the minor.

A person can be kidnapped without being physically removed from one place to another, but in an abduction the physical removal of the victim from the parental authority in the parental home is a requirement.


Jacqui went on to say: “If someone attempts to forcefully remove a child or young adult, the victim should stop, drop, kick and scream to make it as difficult to remove them as possible. We teach people to to attract as much attention as they can.” She advises parents to teach their children to scream, “I don’t know you, I don’t want to go with you, you are not my mother/ father/ grandmother (etc),” when they are in danger of being kidnapped.

“Anywhere children are left unattended can become a problem area in terms of kidnapping. Places like shopping malls and gaming centres are problematic.

Even under-supervised, unsecured residential gardens can become places from which children are easily kidnapped. Similarly, and for obvious reasons, any place where there is a high concentration of adults, alcohol and drug use along with unattended children or young adults there will be a high instance of sex crimes against children as well,” Jacqui told the News.

Colonel Van Staden, the investigating officer in the case of the missing Dineo Mokoena, said that in some cases, teenagers run away and are then reported as missing.

“The more beautiful the child, the more they are victims. I have found missing children in brothels, dead and drugged,” Van Staden said.

She says that it is important to scare children away from the streets so that they don’t get tempted to run away, and end up being reported missing.

“Cases of missing children increase in the summer – some genuinely go missing while some run away, but because they didn’t alert anyone, they are reported as missing,” she told the News.

Van Staden advises the public to take heed of the following:

Know who your children’s friends are. Have their names and contact details handy, so that if your child goes missing, you can answer one of the first questions the police will ask, namely, “Who are your child’s friends?”

Keep track of your children’s behaviour because 90 per cent of the time their behaviour will have changed shortly before they went missing.

Watch out for signs of drug abuse, because some of these children don’t go missing – they run away with other drug-using friends

Children are very unlikely to run away without taking extra clothing with them. They often pack a bag of clothing before leaving, so be aware of where their clothes are at all times.

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Rio Olympics 2016: Swedish tourists rescued after being kidnapped at gunpoint

August 4, 2016

Source: The Australian /

The tourists were traveling toward the city center Wednesday in an Uber car when one passenger asked the driver to pull over near the Lins complex of shantytowns, Rio’s police said in an statement.


An armed man quickly approached the car, told the passengers to get out, and the Uber driver fled the scene when he heard what he thought was a gunshot. The driver immediately went to the nearest police station to report the incident.

Police were dispatched to the shantytown but were told that the Swedish tourists, who were not identified, had been released and had returned to their hotel in a taxi.

Authorities confirmed the tourists returned unharmed.

The tourists told police that nothing was stolen from them, and that, once the gunman realized they were foreigners, he only asked to see the photos they took and then set them free.

Drug gangs in Rio’s slums are constantly on guard against any incursion by police or rival gangs and usually do not permit anyone to take photos of the areas where they operate.

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International investigations and security services

June 27, 2016

Source: ABP World Group Ltd.

ABP World Group is an independent security company, specializing in international investigations, corporate intelligence, child recovery and protective security operations.
Our agents are based around the world and have backgrounds which include work in the corporate sector, government service, law enforcement, foreign intelligence, law and media related services.
Clients have entrusted ABP World Group for over two decades with issues requiring professional attention.  We have the ability to assist quickly through our experience, knowledge and available resources.  We get the job done right the first time.
Blackmail – Origin of the word blackmail
To blackmail somebody is to exhort money or something else of value from them by the threat of exposing information that will harm them in a number of ways. Blackmail is a punishable criminal offense.
The word blackmail comes from the Scottish ‘mail’. In Scottish English this word used to mean ‘tax’ or ‘rent’.  Because of poor enforcement years ago in  Scotland farmers living along the borders of suffered at the hands of criminal gangs. These gangs would rob them and get away with little punishment. Poor farmers were incapable of fighting these looters. So they chose to pay them off. They would make some payment in exchange for protection and immunity from plunder.
In those days the usual modes of payment were cattle, grains and copper coins. These were considered black. And this system of exhorting money from poor farmers was called ‘blackmail’. It means ‘black tax’ or ‘black rent’. If a farmer chose to pay in silver coins, then it was called ‘white mail’.Whether your problem is a personal issue or a corporate crisis, contact us now to arrange a confidential discussion.
In the world today, blackmail means to demand money, or other item of value from someone in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information.  ABP World Group’s agents can assist you in dealing with issues arising from this type of fraud as well as personal security issues or corporate crisis.  Contact us now to arrange a confidential discussion.

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Advokat– Vi ble presset for penger

Juni 17, 2016

Source: VG

Advokat Amir Mirmotaharis (38) fraseparerte ektefelle og forretningspartner, advokat Racha Maktabi (41), sier at hun og mannen er blitt utsatt for utpressing og trusler.

 – Det er blitt betalt penger til utpressere. Jeg vet ikke hvor mye eller hvordan, sier advokat Racha Maktabi til VG.

– Amir har etter det jeg vet betalt penger, men jeg vet ikke til hvem. Dette har skjedd uten min kunnskap på forhånd, sier Maktabi.

Den 20. mai i fjor kom torpedoen Raein Rueintan til advokatkontoret der Amir Mirmotahari og Racha Maktabi jobbet sammen.

VG avslørte i går hvordan advokaten i dette møtet bestilte en kidnapping av et voldtektsoffer.

Et lydopptak av samtalen mellom torpedoen og advokaten dokumenterer at formålet med kidnappingen var å holde offeret borte fra rettsalen. Dermed skulle advokatens klient, den tiltalte voldtektsmannen, gå fri.

– Hva tenker du om det som fremkommer av lydopptaket?

– Jeg synes det er forkastelig og ubegripelig. For meg er det umulig å forstå, sier Maktabi.

– Var du til stede på møtet mellom din fraseparerte ektemann og torpedoen?

– Nei. Jeg har heller ikke vært med på andre møter med Rueintan, sier Maktabi til VG.

På bakgrunn av lydopptaket VG publiserte onsdag, ba førstestatsadvokat Jørn Maurud politiet starte etterforskning av Amir Mirmotahari.

– Overtok farens eiendomsimperium

<p>ADVOKAT: Racha Maktabi.</p>
ADVOKAT: Racha Maktabi.

Foto: Tore Kristiansen, VG

Hun har i flere år jobbet som politiadvokat, først en periode i Oslo og senere i Asker- og Bærum. I dag jobber hun som advokat.

– I fjor sommer ble jeg ringt opp av en svensktalende mann som presenterte seg med sitt navn og sa at han hadde avlyttet Amir i tre måneder. Han sa at han satt på alvorlige materiale og ville ha penger, forteller Maktabi.

Det var ikke torpedoen som ringte til Maktabi, men en annen person.

– Denne personen sa at han hadde avlyttet Amir på vegne av en norsk oppdragsgiver og fordi han var fra Libanon ville han advare meg, sier Maktabi, som selv er fra Libanon.

Hun forteller at hun først trodde det var en spøk.

– Men siden denne personen også hadde ringt hjem til mine foreldre, ble jeg engstelig, sier hun.

– Det ble utbetalt penger

Maktabi forteller at hun umiddelbart konfronterte ektemannen med oppringningen fra den svenske mannen.

– Jeg slo hull i bordet. Jeg sa til Amir at nå må du si hva dette er, hvis ikke går jeg fra deg, sier Maktabi

– Ble det utbetalt penger?

– Ja.

– Hvor mye?

– Det vet jeg ikke, sier Maktabi.

– Fra hvem?

– Det vet jeg ikke, sier Maktabi.

Hun hevder at den påståtte utpresseren ble anmeldt til politiet. VG har vært i kontakt med politioverbetjent Per Morten Hvattum ved Nittedal lensmannskontor. Han bekrefter at de i november i 2015 mottok en anmeldelse for trusler mot Mirmotahari.

– Saken er fortsatt under etterforskning. En person har status som mistenkt, men det har ikke vært mulig å gjennomføre avhør av vedkommende. Utover det har jeg ingen kommentar, sier Hvattum.

Anmeldelsen gjaldt trusler og ikke utpressing.

– Amir sa han hadde anmeldt utpressing

– Har du vært i politiavhør?

– Nei, svarer Maktabi.

– Hvordan kan du vite at det du beskriver som utpressing er blitt anmeldt?

– Amir har anmeldt utpressingen til politiet, sier Maktabi.

Mannen som ringte til Racha Maktabi var ifølge henne en svensktalende mann som hadde libanesisk bakgrunn.

– Han ville møte meg, men det takket jeg nei til. Jeg trodde han bare var ute etter å presse oss for penger og at det bare var et lureopplegg, sier Maktabi.

– Vet du hva som ble snakket om på dette møtet hvor lydopptaket ble gjort?

– Jeg vet ikke hva de snakket om. Amir har referert bruddstykker underveis etter at truslene begynte å komme. Jeg har lurt på hvorfor det var så massivt trykk mot oss. Han har ikke kunnet huske hva det gjaldt annet enn at han har vært avlyttet i tre måneder, sier Maktabi.

– Så du har ikke villet vite mer?

– Verken jeg eller Amir har fått noen lydfil. Jeg har forholdt meg til det Amir har fortalt meg, sier Maktabi.

Hun forteller at hun og ektemannen ble separert i fjor høst.

– Vi måtte gå i dekning på grunn av drapstrusler mot meg og barna, sier Maktabi.


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Brit policewoman’s baby at centre of international child welfare battle will remain in US for time being

January 16, 2016

Source: The Mirror

PC Louise Fielden, 42, had hoped her 14-month-old son Samuel would finally be returned to the UK following her arrest in New York in April.


The British policewoman’s baby at the centre of an international child welfare battle will remain in the US for the time being, it was revealed last night.

Metropolitan Police PC Louise Fielden had hoped her 14-month-old son Samuel would be returned to his homeland – even though it is unlikely she will be granted custody until UK social services have investigated.

The complicated case is playing out in three separate New York courts.

Single mother Ms Fielden has accused American authorities of “kidnapping” her baby and holding him “hostage”.

The East London-based officer was arrested at a Manhattan hotel in April and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest.

She was accused of abandoning the baby alone in their room and then leaving him on the lobby floor while she went into a kitchen to make breakfast.

The charges were dropped earlier this month but her son remains in foster care in New York, while she has returned to the UK.

Yesterday a Brooklyn Federal Court, where she is petitioning for the return of her child under the 1980 Hague Convention, was told that she had agreed to cooperate with the US and British authorities so that Samuel could return to his homeland.

But her lawyer Andrew Spinnell admitted that he had no idea how long the process would take because the case was unprecedented.

Afterwards he said that Ms Fielden’s cousin David Knowles, who lives in Bedfordshire and had originally agreed to care for the child, was “no longer in the picture”.

Mr Spinnell said: “The child will be placed with the appropriate services near her home in England, then a court there will decide.”

Asked how long it would take, he added: “I have no idea.

“I hope it isn’t months.”

In a separate legal action, Ms Fielden, 42, is suing of New York City, including the police and child welfare services, for £30 million.

She also objects to the foster mother caring for Samuel, claiming that Susan Sena is a leading light in a group called SWISH – Single Women in Support of Homos – and played “porn bingo” on her birthday with an X-rated male actor.

A third case is playing out in New York Family Court, where she has been accused of child neglect.

There will be a hearing on that next week.

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Father accused of parental kidnapping located in Medina

June 25, 2015

Source: WGRZ

MEDINA, NY – A Texas man wanted for parental kidnapping over 20 years ago was arrested by the FBI in Medina, NY.

Daniel Lee Kestel

Daniel Lee Kestel, 58, is accused of kidnapping his 13-month-old son in 1992 from Loreno, Texas. Investigators say Kestel took his son for a scheduled visit, but never returned the child to his mother.

“We’re very gratified that we were able to finally locate him,” said Michelle Lee, a special agent in the FBI’s San Antonio bureau.

Kestel was only allowed to see his son on certain days. Investigators say Kestel picked his son up one day and fled Texas with him. The FBI says for years its received tips across the country about Kestel’s whereabouts.

“There were a few instances where we thought we were going to come close to being able to locate Kestel and unfortunately, those leads were not successful,” Lee said.

The FBI and the Loreno Police Department worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children following leads and tips on Kestel’s whereabouts.

Kestel Daniel Lee

The FBI says often times Kestel moved around, with his son, making it tough for authorities to find them. And finally, there was a break in the search, the FBI’s Buffalo office says it recently got a tip that Kestel was in Medina.

And, the father and son were found. Kestel’s son is now 24-years-old and has lived his entire life with his fugitive father.

Officials say Kestel’s son is in good health. Investigators won’t say what he’s been doing in Medina. As for Kestel himself, he’s been unemployed.

Kestel was arraigned and afforded an extradition hearing Monday in Orleans County Court in Albion. He waived the hearing.

In his court hearing, Kestel said he had been living under an alias — Paul Bambanek.

The federal charges of fleeing have been dismissed and the state charges in Texas stand. There’s been no mention, from investigators on whether those who knew Kestel was in Medina, will face charges.

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