Russian court rules ‘abducted’ children to return to UK


November 30, 2013

Source: BBC

A north London mother has won a landmark ruling to get her children back from Russia after they were abducted by their father. Rachael Neustadt, from Hendon, says Ilya Neustadt took their two sons on holiday in December but never returned.

Abducted_Russia

Moscow City Court ruled that Daniel and Jonathan had been illegally kept in Russia in breach of a UK High Court order. Mrs Neustadt said she was delighted by the ruling.

Missing persons

The court said that five-year-old Jonathan and seven-year-old Daniel should be flown back to London. Mrs Neustadt, a former teacher from the US, claims that Mr Neustadt, who was a lecturer at London Metropolitan University, ignored repeated requests from judges in England to return their sons. Interpol also issued missing persons notices for the boys.

The case is the first to successfully use the 1996 Hague Convention on child abduction in England and Russia, which Russia ratified in June and the UK signed last year.

In September, the Russian court told Mr Neustadt to return the two children. He appealed against the decision and lost on Wednesday. Mrs Neustadt said she had campaigned for the last 11 months to bring her sons home.

“I think that day my heart started racing and it hasn’t stopped,” she said.

Every day I think what can I do to bring them back.”

Rachael Neustadt

“Every day I think what can I do to bring them back.

“They liked everything and there’s nothing that tells me that why just because they’ve been given a passport that they are Russians that belong in Russia.”

The boys’ maternal grandmother, Merry Rapp, has been helping care for the youngest son two-year-old Meir, while Mrs Neustadt fights her legal battle.

“It is very confusing for them,” she said.

“They have been told so much that is totally wrong. For example, that your mother no longer loves you. How do you say that and not damage a child? It’s not right.”

‘Hidden problem’

The charity Reunite International, which supports parents, said child abduction was a hidden problem. The group said that its helpline received 8,112 calls last year and the numbers were increasing.

Joanne Orton, the advice line co-ordinator, said: “We had 506 new parental abduction cases reported to us which involved 728 children. We also had 412 new prevention cases involving a further 586 children.

“Travel is easier and cheaper than ever leading to more mixed nationality partnerships than ever.

“Where a relationship has formed with one or both parents originating from a different country to the one they have settled in, if that relationship then breaks down, very often one parent will want to return to the comfort of their family in their native country.”

She added that 70% of abductions were carried out by the mother.

“The saddest fact is, that when a child is abducted whilst both parents suffer as a result, ultimately the one person that suffers the most is the child,” she said.

Mr Neustadt has said he may appeal against the latest ruling.

He said: “We will finally reach some amicable solution based on compromises and not on possible actions that would be completely against the children’s best interests.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Visit our website here: www.abpworld.com

profile pic.jpg

ABP World Group Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail 

Skype: abpworld

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

1-800-847-2315 US Toll free Number
0-808-189-0066 UK Toll Free Number
800-11-618        Norway Toll Free Number

Worldwide International Number: +31-208112223

Worldwide 24/7 Emergency Number: +34 633 374 629

Father pleads guilty to international parental kidnapping


December 10, 2012

Source: NBC-WKTV News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – An Ilion native pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charged of international parental kidnapping.

Jeffrey Shipman, an Ilion native, admitted that on on July 12, 2007 he left the United States with his then 3-year-old daughter , flying from JFK Airport in New York City to London-Heathrow Airport, with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of the mother’s parental rights. Authorities said Shipman further admitted that he kept the child outside the United States for the next 4 ½ years, traveling from England, to Germany, France, and Thailand.

Jeffrey_Shipman
He ultimately turned himself and the child in to authorities in Bangkok, Thailand in March of this year. The child, now 9 years old, has been reunited with her mother.

The crime of International Parental Kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of 36 months imprisonment and up to one year of supervised release. Shipman and the United States Attorney’s
Office have agreed on a binding sentence of 30 months imprisonment and 1 year supervised release.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2013.

Shipman’s arrest was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service. Shipman is being prosecuted by AUSA Lisa Fletcher, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Northern District of New York.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, and led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe
Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

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

Contact us here: Mail

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

England: Parental child abduction arrest


A man has been arrested in London on suspicion of parental child abduction.

 

A 45-year-old man was yesterday arrested in London on suspicion of parental child abduction.

The man is believed to have taken three children from the Banbridge area, on Thursday, 29 March, to Dublin airport where he was intercepted by An Garda Siochana.

The three children were taken into protective custody before the man boarded a flight to London. The man was later arrested when he re-entered the UK jurisdiction in Heathrow airport yesterday. PSNI officers accompanied him back to Northern Ireland this morning and he is currently assisting them with their enquiries.

The operation involved E District CID and Response Police as well as mutual assistance from authorities including An Garda Siochana.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

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

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

East Ham MP highlights parental child abduction case


Source: BBC

East Ham MP Stephen Timms has raised the issue of parental child abduction in the Commons by highlighting the case of one of his constituents.

Jonathan Hunt has not seen his daughter Lydia for three-and-a-half years, but he has left her bedroom untouched.

The East Ham resident met his wife Irma, from Mexico, while she was working as a nanny in London.

They got married in May 2003 and their daughter Lydia was born three years later.

When they travelled to Mexico for a family holiday in 2008, Mr Hunt did not know it would be the last time he saw his then 18-month-old daughter.

He flew home first to resume his job in London and Irma and Lydia were due to follow.

Weeks later he received a call from his wife to say she was not happy in the relationship and that she and Lydia would not be returning.

Hague Convention

“Any loving parent would realise once this happens to you you’ve got two options, you can go under or you can fight. I’ve chosen to fight,” he said.

Within days Mr Hunt filed a request for the Mexican authorities to return Lydia under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Mexico and the UK are two of the 87 states which have signed up to this agreement.

Under the treaty, abducted children should be returned to their home country within six weeks for a decision to then be reached through its courts, but it is an agreement which can be difficult to implement.

Anne-Marie Hutchinson, chairwoman of the board of trustees for Reunite International, said: “The problem with the Hague Convention is that there is no, as it were, Hague Court, that can make countries comply with not only the law but the procedure, and make them get on with cases quickly and procedurally and ensure fairness is done.”

A case like Mr Hunt’s, therefore, is dependent on the Mexican legal system.

So far Mr Hunt has spent nearly £85,000 in legal fees searching for Lydia.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms, who has been helping Mr Hunt with his case, raised the issue in the final parliamentary debate of the year and called for the government to intervene.

Mr Timms, who had also raised the issue in the Commons in October, said: “It’s only the Mexican government that can resolve this now.

“And I want the British government to do everything it can to press the Mexican government to do what they are committed to do under the Hague Convention.”

The number of children abducted by one of their parents and taken overseas is increasing in London, according to the charity Reunite International.

It said there were 52 parental abductions from the capital in this year alone.

‘Can’t give up’

The Foreign Office handled 643 cases of international parental child abduction in 2010 to both Hague and non-Hague Convention countries – a 10% rise in the number of cases since the previous year.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of the case of Lydia Hunt and have provided consular assistance to her father, Jonathan, from the outset. We are committed to continuing to support Mr Hunt.”

In spite of the obstacles he faces, Mr Hunt refuses to give up and is waiting for another hearing in Mexico in March 2012.

“I can’t drop it. I physically am unable to do it,” he said.

“I don’t want to give up on my daughter until a solution is resolved and she’s brought back.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

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

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

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
UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –
Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics


Source: The Guardian

US plans to send 500 FBI agents to protect its athletes as organisers admit underestimating number of security guards needed

The US has raised repeated concerns about security at the LondonOlympics and is preparing to send up to 1,000 of its agents, including 500 from the FBI, to provide protection for America’s contestants and diplomats, the Guardian has learned.

American officials have expressed deep unease that the UK has had to restrict the scope of anti-terrorism “stop and search” powers, and have sought a breakdown of the number of British police and other security personnel that will be available next summer.

The prime minister and other senior members of the cabinet, including home secretary Theresa May and culture and sport secretary Jeremy Hunt, are taking turns to chair security meetings about the Olympics, which are often dominated by the latest questions from the US, sources said. But Washington’s need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials, who have privately raised concerns about the meddling, as well as the size of the US “footprint” in the UK during the games next year.

“We are not equal partners in this,” said one security official. “They are being very demanding.”

The friction is adding to the pressures on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), which is responsible for preparing and staging the event. The Guardian has learned the committee is attempting to resolve a potential crisis over venue security, after conceding it had underestimated the number of security guards needed at the 32 sites across the country. Originally it had thought 10,000 guards would be enough, but after a review over the summer it now believes it will need up to 21,000.

Venue safety is not the responsibility of the police, so the firm G4S was awarded the contract to find and train the initial group. The company will this week begin an advertising campaign to meet that target. But the organising committee does not have the money to pay G4S to make up the shortfall, and does not believe the firm has enough time to do so, forcing ministers to turn to the Ministry of Defence for help.

The MoD has offered 3,000 soldiers, and another 2,000 in reserve – half the total required. The ministry is working within its own tight budget, and the late request for help has irritated some officials.

“What have they been doing for the last five years?” asked one. “There is less than a year to go and they’ve only just realised they need twice the number of security guards they first thought. Where is the money to pay for this coming from? It is an extra burden on the defence budget that we could well do without.”

Another source said: “Everyone has now realised 10,000 was an underestimate. This is one of the biggest problems facing the Olympic authorities because there is an absolute dearth of vetted and qualified private security guards. Senior police had advised ministers and the committee that 10,000 was too few, but nobody wanted to listen because of the cost involved.

“The military will have to stand up some people. Otherwise G4S have got the Olympic committee over a barrel.”

The problem will do little to reassure Washington, which will be supplementing its FBI personnel with an equal number of diplomatic security officials, some of whom will be armed. Though the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has lowered the threat of attack to “substantial” – the third level on the scale – western intelligence agencies remain wary.

They know it is possible that al-Qaida, or one of its affiliates, may attempt to disrupt the Olympics, with members of the US team being obvious targets.

The Home Office and Scotland Yard believe the UK has a robust security strategy, but this has not stopped American officials voicing their concerns.

The police response to the London riots, the arrest of a security guard at the London Olympics site earlier this year, and the arrests made shortly before the visit of the Pope last year have provoked anxiety among US officials. The repeal of section 44 of the Terrorism Act, which allowed police to stop and search suspects with near impunity, also raised alarm. One well-placed Whitehall source said the entire Olympic security operation was being prepared “with the US in mind”, adding: “The US will have no qualms in saying it is unsafe. If something happens and we say we did not have enough people, we are finished.”

Another official said: “The Americans are risk-averse, with a capital A and underlined. They want to see everything. We are not equal partners in this. They want to be on top of everything – building protection, counter-terrorism strategy and VIP security – everything.” Asked about the size of the US contingent heading to London next year, the official said: “They don’t do things by halves.”

In addition to the official American security entourage, the sponsors of the Games, including Coca-Cola, will have their own private security details, adding to the complexity of the policing operation.

The Ministry of Defence and the Home Office said no final decisions had been taken on the number of soldiers that might be needed to beef up security at some of the Olympic sites.An official said the need for an increase at the venues had become apparent when the Olympic committee began to role-play scenarios at some of the completed sites over the summer.

“The focus of the government and everyone involved is to deliver a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy,” a government spokesman said.

“Ministers and officials from across government are working closely with the police and Locog to ensure we have a robust safety and security strategy.”

Officials said ministers, the Olympic committee and G4S were working together “to finalise the requirements for Olympic venue security”. “As with all significant national events, we will make the best and most appropriate use of available resources,” a statement said. “The Ministry of Defence have been fully involved in supporting Olympic security planning work.”

G4S said it was confident of recruiting 10,000 security guards, and could recruit more, as long as the Olympic authorities gave the company enough time. “We need to know as soon as possible,” said a spokesman.

The US state department declined to comment.

Locog said detailed security plans were being drawn up in collaboration with the government and security agencies.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook
Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

UK riots spread from London to Liverpool, Birmingham and Belfast


Rioting broke out in the English cities of Liverpool and Birmingham as the worst violence in London in years threatened to spread to the rest of the country on Tuesday.

West Midlands Police confirmed they had made 87 arrests as youths ran amok in Birmingham centre overnight, smashing shop windows and looting merchandise.

The force also said that a police station in the central England city was on fire.

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police confirmed Tuesday they were dealing with unrest in the northwestern city of Liverpool with several cars set alight.

“We will not tolerate any violence on the streets of Liverpool and have taken swift and robust action in response,” police spokesman Andy Ward said.

Riots have been ongoing in London since Saturday night after protests against the death of a man in a police shooting turned violent, but Monday saw an escalation in hostilities.

Fire engulfed many areas of the capital as police fought pitched battles with thousands of looters and gangs of youths in the third day of serious disorder.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/riots+spread+from+London+Liverpool+Birmingham/5224524/story.html#ixzz1UUQh5jCq

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Father fights for daughter in parental kidnapping case


Source:  Jessica Rush, Planojobs.us June 13, 2011

Ronnie Baker / Staff Photo –For the last two years, Plano father Bart Hermer has dedicated his life to seeing his daughter returned from overseas. Alessia was abducted by her mother and represents one of more than 200,000 family abduction cases in the United States every year
Bart Hermer carries a pacifier with him at all times. It’s purple with flecks of glitter and has the words “Princess Alessia” scrolled across the plastic.
He keeps the soother as a small comfort of his own — a reminder that his 2-year-old daughter, Alessia, is still out there and waiting to be reunited with her father.For now, Alessia lives in the United Kingdom with her mother, 40-year-old Simmone Cohen, who is a British citizen. Hermer and his parents have spent around $75,000 on an international custody battle that has left them drained both monetarily and emotionally.

Every night, Hermer sleeps on a bed in the nursery to feel closer to his daughter, but an empty crib is a constant reminder that the woman who first stole his heart, also stole his most precious possession.
Blindsided
Hermer and Cohen’s relationship started out as a picture-perfect romance. He fell for her British accent and stunning looks when they met on a single’s cruise in 2007, and months later they were visiting each other’s countries. The aging couple talked about both wanting children, so within a matter of months they were engaged.”I swear on my daughter’s life, heart and soul we never had an argument,” Hermer said, reflecting on the blissful times. “We were the envy of everybody we knew.”

The two began planning for a wedding at the Dallas Arboretum — plans that were delayed when Cohen found out she was pregnant with Alessia. When the baby was 10 months old, Cohen planned a regular trip for the three of them to visit her family in London. Hermer said he had just been laid off from his job as an advertising executive, but Cohen had income from her marketing business she ran from their Plano home.

While going through customs at the London airport, Hermer was pulled aside and questioned. A customs officer accused him of trying to enter the country with the intention to live there — information Hermer’s fiancee had told them. As much as Hermer denied the story, he was sent back to the United States alone, and Cohen and Alessia remained in England.

“I was set up,” Hermer said. “The truth was she just wanted a baby.”

Back in Texas, Cohen’s designer clothes still hang in the closet. Her laptop was left behind, and a Plano detective confirmed in writing that she wrote messages contradicting their happy engagement.

“I definitley [sic] don’t want to marry him,” Cohen wrote in one Skype message to a family member. “… he knows I am delaying things so he may have guessed,” she wrote to a friend.

“She played him like a sucker,” Hermer’s mother, Kathy, said. “She lied about everything.”

An epidemic
The Hermer’s are not alone in their daily struggle with parental kidnapping. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) estimates more than 200,000 family abduction cases occur annually in the United States.

In cases involving children taken from the United States to the United Kingdom, 92 percent of cases are unresolved for longer than a year, and 38 percent are unresolved for more than five years, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database.

Hermer has tried to use international child abduction laws from the Hague Convention to get Alessia back. Article 3 of the convention talks about the “rights of custody” and says the courts must use the law of the state — in this case Texas — where the child was a resident before being abducted.

Even with letters of support from Texas Senators Florence Shapiro and Jane Nelson and state Rep. Jerry Madden, most of Hermer’s evidence was not allowed in the British court.

“I was not given a fair trial,” Hermer said. “I have solid evidence from credible people … and that evidence was not allowed. A lot of these countries will not return a child because of gender bias.”

After a crushing loss with denial of appeal, Hermer is trying a different approach. He hopes Attorney General Greg Abbott will push to have Cohen extradited to Texas on felony kidnapping charges.

“If my child stays there, it sets the precedent for thousands of children in the future,” Hermer said.

Time is ticking
Two years have passed with Hermer devoting his life to studying state and federal parental kidnapping law. He now works as assistant director of the Global Missing Children Fund.
Precedence from other international kidnapping cases shows that courts consider a child acclimated to their new country once they reach 3 years old. After that point, the courts are reluctant to return the child.

“I’ve got six months,” Hermer said, desperation in his voice. “She’s my life. She’s my pride. I don’t want to catch up with her in my 70s.”

He sees her occassionally when he is allowed to enter England for scheduled court hearings, but the trips are expensive and visitation is never guaranteed.

“When they are together it’s like they’ve never been separated for a moment,” Kathy said. “They had such a tight bond.”

Hermer is praying that someone will hear Alessia’s story and know how to help. While he is openly thankful for the ongoing support from Jewish Family Services, a separate fund has been set up for donations to offset some of the court costs at www.firstgiving.com/Bring-Alessia-Home.

“I’ll never quit until she’s in that crib,” he said. “I don’t care what it takes.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook