The Philippines and The Hague …


August 14, 2015

Source: Inquirer

As a mother and grandmother, ensuring the safety, health and happiness of my children and grandchildren is paramount. As special advisor to the Office of Children’s Issues, I seek the same for all children across the world, especially those who are victims of international parental child abduction.

Abducted Philippines

The mission of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is to protect the world’s most vulnerable citizens, its children, from the harmful effects of international parental child abduction, by securing the prompt return of a child who has been abducted from or retained outside their country of habitual residence, in violation of custodial rights.

The clear international consensus on the Convention’s benefits is demonstrated by the more than 90 countries that have joined the growing Convention community. Historically, parties to the Convention were concentrated primarily in Europe and the Western Hemisphere; however, this has changed as more countries in East Asia and the Pacific have taken a stance to uphold its principles. I am proud that the United States stands with this impressive group of countries, which includes Sri Lanka, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. It is my sincere hope that it will not be long before the Philippines unites with this group of nations.

Parental Abduction Philippines

With 10 million overseas Filipino workers and the rise of binational marriages, the Convention’s importance for the Philippines and its citizens cannot be more relevant or urgent. It is no longer unusual to know an aunt, neighbor, friend, colleague, uncle, sister, or cousin who has had a child abducted to a foreign country. If you do know someone, my next question may be difficult: Did that child ever return to the Philippines?

The reality is that since the Philippines is not a party to the Convention, it is not uncommon for abduction cases to remain unresolved for years, resulting in an often prolonged and painful separation between children and their parents. Filipino parents currently have limited remedies to seek the return of their children from abroad; this is why joining the Convention now is of the utmost importance.

The United States stands by the Convention; we have sent four US delegations to the Philippines in the last six months to offer information and technical assistance. I recently led a delegation to Manila in June and held productive meetings with the secretaries of the Departments of Justice and of Social Welfare and Development, senior-level officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs, and three senators, to discuss the Convention’s mutual benefits to children who are Filipino or US citizens. The near-universal support for Philippine accession moved me.

I applaud the consistent efforts of the Philippine government in the last two years to actively engage in multilateral dialogues on the Convention. The road to accession may present some challenges, but I know the Philippines is capable of overcoming them. My confidence is rooted in the knowledge that the Philippines, like the United States, places a high priority on and is committed to protecting its citizens across the globe.

Accession is well within reach. The Philippines is already a model for good practices relating to the implementation of The Hague Adoption Convention and has the potential to expand its role as an instrumental leader in the region by acceding to and effectively implementing The Hague Abduction Convention. I urge the Philippines to seize this significant opportunity. Our citizens and, most importantly, our children, deserve it.

Ambassador Susan Jacobs is special advisor for children’s issues at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

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Kidnapping threat worldwide – updated December 2014


December 21 , 2014

Threat

Terrorist groups often target foreigners. In some instances, terrorists have killed their victims when their demands were not met. Some are kidnapped for ideological or political reasons, leaving little or no room for negotiation. Foreigners overseas, particularly those working in the oil and mining industry, aid and humanitarian sectors, journalists and tourists are regularly targeted.

Kidnapping hotspots risk Map

Terrorists may use local merchants such as tour and transport operators to identify foreign visitors for potential kidnap operations. Hostages may be taken by their captors into a neighbouring country. For example, humanitarian workers and tourists in Kenya have been kidnapped by militants and held in Somalia.

Cultural festivals in remote locations are also attractive places for terrorists and criminals to identify and target tourists for kidnapping. These festivals bring people to predictable locations along unsecured routes, including in parts of Africa where the threat of kidnapping is highest.

Criminal groups often kidnap tourists who are forced to withdraw money from ATMs. This is known in some locations as “express kidnapping”. It is common in countries in Central and South America, especially Mexico and Colombia, but does occur in other countries. In some cases victims have been killed or injured while attempting to resist the kidnappers. Using ATMs located inside banks, hotels and shopping centres during daylight hours may reduce the risk.

Kidnapping

You should be aware that some criminals pose as unlicensed taxi drivers. Once the victim is in the cab they are held until they agree to withdraw money. Always use licenced taxi services.

An increasing number of foreigners have recently been kidnapped and held for ransom by criminals who operate sophisticated online financial scams which lure victims to locations in Africa, including Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. You should treat with scepticism any online invitation you receive to travel to an unfamiliar location.

Another trend is “virtual kidnapping”. This is when extortionists, posing as law enforcement officials, call the family or friends of the victim and demand payment in return for release of the allegedly arrested family member or friend. You should avoid divulging financial, business or personal information to strangers.

kidnapping_02

Pirates have also kidnapped hundreds of people, usually holding them for ransom. Pirates have attacked all forms of shipping, including commercial vessels, pleasure craft (such as yachts) and luxury cruise liners. This is particularly prevalent off the coast of Somalia and Yemen (including the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden), in the Gulf of Guinea and near Mindanao and in the Sulu Sea. See our piracy bulletin for more information.

Particular areas of concern

Afghanistan: All parts of Afghanistan are subject to a high threat of kidnapping. A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in Afghanistan and held captive for an extended period of time. Foreign kidnapping victims have been murdered by their captors.

Colombia: In South America, terrorist groups are known to kidnap for ransom. Colombia has one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world, often perpetrated by groups such as the FARC and the National Liberation Army in rural areas. Foreigners, including children, have been kidnapped and murdered.

North and West Africa: Instability in parts of North and West Africa such as northern Mali, Libya and north-eastern Nigeria have increased the risk of kidnapping throughout the region. Terrorists based in Mali and Nigeria have carried out a number of kidnappings over the past two years, including in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria. Further kidnappings are likely, especially in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia.

Southern Philippines/eastern Sabah: There is a persistent threat of kidnapping in southern Philippines, including coastal and island resorts and dive sites, particularly in remote locations in the Sulu Sea. The situation in the southern Philippines also creates an ongoing risk of kidnapping in the coastal region of eastern Sabah in Malaysia, which is highest in the area between the towns of Sandakan and Tawau and particularly at outlying resorts.

Syria and Iraq: The conflict in Syria has resulted in the kidnapping of a significant number of foreign nationals, including media and humanitarian workers. Since August 2014, a number of foreign nationals kidnapped in Syria have been executed by their captors. The escalation of violence in Iraq since June 2014 has resulted in a significantly less predictable security environment and an increased threat to foreigners. Groups based in Syria and Iraq are more likely to execute their hostages for propaganda purposes than to seek to use them for negotiation or bargaining.

Yemen and Somalia: The threat of kidnapping in Yemen and Somalia is ongoing. Foreigners, especially Westerners, are highly prized by criminals and terrorists. Large ransom payments paid for the release of some hostages reinforce the effectiveness of kidnapping as a viable source of revenue.

Somalia Kidnapping Piracy Pirates Aden Ship Security

Tribal and criminal groups also conduct kidnappings of foreigners to use as leverage in local disputes and negotiations with the government. Any foreigner kidnapped in Yemen or Somalia is in danger of being on sold to terrorists. Sailors on ships and yachts off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean are also a regular target for kidnappers.

Recent kidnappings

Recent kidnapping incidents include:

  • In September 2014, a French national was kidnapped while hiking in the mountains of northeast Algeria and later murdered by his captors.
  • In September 2014, a US journalist was released after being held captive in Somalia for over three years.
  • In August, September and October 2014, UK and US nationals kidnapped while working in Syria were murdered by their captors.
  • In August 2014, a foreign national was kidnapped in Oyo State, Nigeria.
  • In August 2014, a Canadian national was released after being held hostage in Colombia for seven months.
  • In August 2014, three foreign nationals kidnapped in Libya were released after being held for four months.
  • In July 2014, a number of foreigners kidnapped near Tripoli, Libya, were released by their captors.
  • In June 2014, a foreign national was kidnapped near the town of Kunak in eastern Sabah, Malaysia.
  • In May 2014, Jordan’s Ambassador to Libya was released after being kidnapped in Tripoli in February.
  • In April 2014, a foreign tourist was kidnapped from a resort in eastern Sabah, Malaysia.
  • In April 2014, extremists attempted to kidnap foreign aid workers from the Dabaab refugee camp in Kenya, near the border with Somalia.
  • In April 2014, a Canadian and two Italian nationals were kidnapped from their residence in Tchere in the Far North Region of Cameroon and later released.
  • In April 2014, two German nationals were kidnapped from a yacht in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines.
  • On 2 April 2014, a foreign tourist and local employee were kidnapped from a resort in eastern Malaysia.
  • In January and February 2014, several foreigners were kidnapped in separate incidents in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.
  • In January 2014, a South Korean official was kidnapped in Tripoli, Libya.
  • In January 2014, two Italian nationals were kidnapped near Derna, Libya.
  • In November 2013, two Taiwanese tourists were attacked in their hotel on an island off the coast of eastern Sabah, Malaysia. One tourist was murdered and another was kidnapped.
  • In November 2013, two French journalists were kidnapped in northern Mali and later found murdered.
  • In September and October 2013, a foreigner working with the UN and a foreign journalist were kidnapped in Sana’a, Yemen.

Traveller’s responsibilities

Having made a decision to enter a high risk zone, it is the responsibility of the traveller or their employer to do their own security risk assessments and to put in place their own security arrangements to reflect those assessments. The Australian Government is not able to provide security protection to travellers in such circumstances.

Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

  • register your travel and contact details with us so we can contact you in an emergency. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.
  • organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy. Travel insurance policies do not provide coverage for kidnapping, and cannot be used to pay ransoms.
  • subscribe to the travel advice for the destination you intended to travel to in order to receive free email updates each time the travel advice is reissued.
  • before travelling to areas where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, seek professional security advice and ensure effective personal security measures are implemented.
  • Source: smarttraveller.gov.au

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Father accused of abducting daughter, leaving her in The Philippines


October 19, 2013

Source: thestarphoenix.com

A Saskatoon man accused of abducting his Brazilian toddler daughter from Ukraine in July will return to court Tuesday for a bail hearing. Alexander Fiodor Levine, 47, is charged with parental abduction between July 10, 2013 and Oct 11, 2013.

Unknown

The child was found on the weekend, safe and healthy, in the Philippines, after Levine was arrested and charged in Saskatoon on Oct. 11, said Saskatoon police spokeswoman Kelsie Fraser.

The child was in the care of Philippine child welfare authorities as of Tuesday.

Fraser said it’s not yet clear why Levine allegedly took the child to the Philippines, or who he left her with in that country.

“I don’t believe he had a connection to the Philippines,” Fraser said.

Lavine, who lives in Saskatoon, is the father of the two-year-old girl who was born in Brazil to her Brazilian mother, Oziene Barbosa. The child never lived in Canada, Fraser said.

This summer, Levine and Barbosa travelled from Brazil to Ukraine. Barbosa reported the abduction to Ukrainian authorities in July, Fraser said.

Brazilian authorities were also notified. They contacted Saskatchewan Justice and the Saskatoon Police Service in August.

Numerous law enforcement and government agencies, in Canada and abroad, joined the investigation, including the SPS sex crimes and child abuse unit, the major crimes unit, forensic identification unit and tech crimes units, along with the RCMP National Missing Children Operations, the Canada Border Services Agency, Saskatchewan Justice and officials in the Philippines and Brazil.

Kidnapped_To_Philippines

Levine was arrested Friday in Saskatoon and charged with one count of parental abduction of a child with intent to deprive her lawful parent of the possession of the child.

Canada Border Services helped by tracking Levine’s passport to the Philippines, where authorities then became involved, Fraser said.

On Tuesday, Levine made a brief appearance, via video link, in Saskatoon provincial court, where he was remanded until Tuesday.

 

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Kidnappings in the Philippines: “Run and we will kill you – Warren Rodwell`s Story


June 17 , 2013

Source: KRmagazine

At 6pm on December 5, 2011, 55-year-old Warren Rodwell, who was building a house on the Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines, had downed tools for the day when four gunmen ambushed him

Warren Rodwell on his kidnapping in Philippines

“RUN and we will kill you.”

When Australian adventurer Warren Rodwell heard those words, he knew he was not simply under arrest.

Warren-Rodwell

It was 6pm on December 5, 2011. The 55-year-old, who was building a house on the Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines, had downed tools for the day when four gunmen ambushed him

“I’d been on the phone and was just on the outside of the house in an enclosed area. Two guys came around one way pointing rifles at me and shot me in the hand. The other two came around from behind and handcuffed me,” he said.

“When he shot me I swore at him, then he said ‘police’ and pulled out a pair of handcuffs. It all happened too quickly.

“We had to walk two or three kilometres through rice fields. They were behind me trying to hit me with the butt of the rifle and kick me to move me. The guy said ‘run and we will kill you’.

“I was in front and by the time we eventually got to a river and into a boat, I realised I was being kidnapped.”

The gunmen wore military uniforms and their M16 rifles were plastered with police insignia.

The former Australian soldier knew to stay calm and do as he was told when they forced him into a stolen community boat. A similar vessel would carry him to freedom 15 months later.

THE PHILLIPINES

Sydney-born Rodwell lived a nomadic lifestyle. He had trotted the globe twice and seen about 50 countries when he decided to settle in one of the most dangerous parts of the world and marry Miraflor Gutang, 26 years his junior.

“I was looking at early retirement in the Philippines because it was halfway between China, where I’d been teaching for about 10 years, and Australia,” he said.

“I didn’t have a great deal of money but I’d saved some and this was one place that I could buy a bit of cheap land, put a house on it and it’d serve the purpose for my Filipino wife.”

His plan was for the couple to eventually split their time between the three countries, but by late November 2011 it began to unravel.

He separated from Ms Gutang and she moved back in with her parents. He continued working on their house, in what he said was considered a ‘safe area’.

Two weeks later, he was kidnapped.

bullet wounds

STAYING ALIVE

Within hours Rodwell realised the rebels who kidnapped him were untrained. After an hour on the boat one of the motors caught on fire and exploded.

“They were kicking the boards that were on fire on to me. Then they were throwing the diesel overboard. As soon as the first guy went overboard so did I. I was in the sea handcuffed. I thought I would drown,” he said.

He was pulled back on to the boat, which his captors then paddled for five hours to an island. It was then apparent they were lost.

“They moored the boat in behind a great big naval ship. The next day the army was there with their military helicopters so we had to hide from them for fear of being shot. Then they took me on an eight-hour boat trip that night. I had to change boats, then the smaller boat hit a rock and it looked like we were going to drown in this raging sea. It was like a movie.”

Filipino police have identified the al-Qaida linked group Abu Sayyaf as being involved in Rodwell’s kidnapping.

For the first three months in the jungle, he thought they were going to kill him.

“I very much so (thought I would die) from having my head cut off. I was going to go crazy thinking about it. I thought the best thing is, just accept it,” he said.

“A couple of times people would cock their weapon and threaten to shoot me and I’d just say ‘Go ahead you f…g idiot … I’m worth 10 million Philippine pesos ($AUD250,000) and you’re worth none so go ahead and shoot’.”

But Rodwell was not the only one who was nervous.

“We got caught at times on the mountains and below us would be civilians coming for water and above us would be the military patrols,” he said.

“The fear was that if the military found our camp, they’d just start shooting. They wouldn’t be looking for me. They’d just shoot anyone they could see.

“Sometimes there were civilians around because they’d come in to do illegal logging or we’d be near a mosque or school. Whenever our presence was found we’d move on. They couldn’t trust anyone because if there was another rebel group they’d try to steal me.”

As his life descended into disaster, Rodwell fought to control his mind by thinking about history, dates and numbers.

“That was the hardest thing of all,” he said. “I had no books or notepads but sometimes the newspaper would be brought in and I’d have my photo taken with it for proof of the date and I’d keep it. I didn’t have any reading glasses but I’d still read the whole newspaper.”

Despite his military experience as a field engineer in the 70s and his acquired survival skills, he never tried to escape.

“I had opportunities but you wouldn’t even call it an escape because there was nowhere I could go,” he said.

“Even if I did get away, the area is all controlled by Abu Sayyaf. That would be like jumping out of the frying pan. It wouldn’t be a smart move at all.”

CAPTIVITY

For the next 15 months Rodwell fought to stay sane amid the constant threat of being shot or beheaded.

He was moved between 30 different locations within the Basilan Islands as his captors tried to evade the military and other militant groups.

Most of the time he was cold and starving. At about 7pm each day, he would climb into his hammock with a roaring stomach.

But he ate as often as his captors. On a good day he was fed boiled rice but at times he went up to six weeks without proper food.

“A treat might have been a can of sardines shared with three or four others,” he said.

“Sometimes it might be one small piece of dried fish. If they added anything to the rice it was one thing only. Sometimes they’d add a shrimp or small prawn but it was pretty meagre.

“At times what I would do to flavour the boiled rice is I would use the conjunctivitis from my eyes because I don’t get much nourishment or taste out of boiled rice. When it goes two or three days of boiled rice only, that’s a lack of oxygen getting to my brain and I start getting headaches and disoriented.

“Some of the messengers that would come in were sympathetic towards me and they would smuggle in bananas and things like that.”

His captors also caught wild birds and cooked tree roots.

There was no sanitary and Rodwell went months without washing.

“I had a wash every three or four months with a bit of water out of a bottle,” he said.

“I did acquire a razor and I’d shave all of the hair off my body for cleanliness. That was a way to keep my body clean. It’s an old military trick. Then I wouldn’t get lice or anything.

“Going to the toilet was a problem with the broken hand. The guy would pour water down my back like you would with a baby.”

He spent about 10 weeks in the mountains and the rest of the time in mangrove swamps.

“At the beginning all I had was a pair of shorts but I acquired and stole some clothes. I’d use whatever I could. One sleeping bag was broken so I tore that and wrapped that around me,” he said.

“When I got transferred in boats they’d sometimes put a blanket around me so I’d steal that. I did end up eventually having a balaclava and then a Filipino army shirt.

“The big problem for most of the time was mosquitos. In the jungle swamps we’d be attacked quite ferociously.”

Warren-Rodwell-2

CAPTORS

Rodwell’s captors, who spoke no English, were child-like.

“The reason I was treated badly was because they don’t know how to look after themselves,” he said.

“Most of my captors were pretty good-hearted souls but being Muslims they’re not restricted by the 10 commandments. They just see it as anyone who’s foreign as having a market.

“This whole thing is a cottage industry. They’re all second and third generation. I only met one or two people who were jungle fighters. The rest were civilians, around 19-20 years old.”

During his time in captivity, Rodwell was guarded by about 100 different rebels.

Within weeks of his capture, his kidnappers began to soften and signs of Stockholm syndrome set in.

“I bonded enough with my guards that on December 31 they took the handcuffs off and gave me something to shave with,” he said.

“It was a bit scary. The only mirror I had was the handcuffs to look at and I could see all this grey hair appearing on my face.

“I had so many changes of guard that I’d recognise the behaviours in them. The married guy would be in tears because he’d miss his family. A couple of them went crazy.

“With others we’d listen to the noises in our stomach from hunger.”

RELEASE

When a ransom of $94,600 was paid on February 3 this year the captors kept their hostage.

“The delay was that between the different levels (of the group) some people were trying to do a side deal on their own,” he said.

“Apparently it was at the insistence of the vice governor that they must release me otherwise he wouldn’t help them in the future with any cases.”

Rodwell had been told on a number of occasions throughout the 15-month ordeal that he would soon be released.

“I believed no one. I didn’t build up hope. I became emotionless,” he said.

“I started suffering PTSD during the captivity and I started healing myself by analysing the situations a lot.”

Throughout, his militant captors released a series of “proof of life’’ videos as part of their ransom demands.

When the “proof of life” questions increased in frequency, he knew something was afoot.

“They were sending questions through every month instead of every two or three months. I also knew something was happening because I’d been moved very close to a fishing village,” he said.

“It was just a gut feeling and it was that weekend that I actually got released.”

As the tide went out on March 22 and darkness fell, Rodwell was put on a boat. After about two hours at sea, he was transferred to a smaller fishing boat and taken to shore.

“The fisherman paddled it to shore and told me to get out. I was told to start walking and say ‘please help me, please help me’.”

He was spotted by Pagadian wharf workers in the early hours of the next morning and taken to the local police station. It was now March 23 – his dead mother’s birthday.

He was then transported to the US military base at Zamboanga for treatment before being flown Manila to recuperate.

During this time he decided against a reunion with his Filipino wife.

“I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone because I know that when she does talk to me, sometimes it ends up being a heated debate trying to understand and communicate,” he said.

“When I’m dealing with the police and we’re doing interviews about the ordeal, I haven’t really got time for someone (breaking down on me). That’d be like being attacked by a wild animal in the dark.

“I also delayed speaking to my children and siblings for a few days because I wasn’t ready.”

Rodwell said he did not believe his estranged wife was involved in his abduction.

“These Filipinos just love to talk. It’s quite possible that with Miraflor, being a bit loose-lipped, that might have helped with the information being disseminated about me being a foreigner and where I was living. It’s just a lack of prudence but these things happen.”

RECOVERY

It has been 18 months since Rodwell was shot and his hand still hasn’t been operated on.

“I’m waiting to go on a waiting list,” he said. “I’ve already been rejected from one waiting list at the Royal Brisbane Hospital because it’s too long and I’m waiting to hear back from QEII hospital.”

He has been diagnosed with PTSD, has damaged nerve tracts in his lower legs and feet and chipped teeth from trying to open coconuts.

But amazingly, he says he is recovering well.

“I’m seeing a private psychologist. Everything is good. I don’t have nightmares. I’ve pulled up pretty well,” he said.

“At the moment I’m still alive and all things considered I’m quite functional.

“I don’t need to see the psychologist for another three months.”

Read about ABP World Group`s CAC – Conduct After Capture Course 

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Conduct After Capture ( CAC) Course for Civilians / Companies that Operate in High and Medium Risk Areas


June 8 , 2013

ABP World Group Ltd.

Kidnapping is the number one form of monetary extortion around the world. It’s used so often by criminals, guerrillas, separatists, rebels, terrorists and drug cartels as a means of funding and intimidation that it’s practically an art form. There are even different regional styles.

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive. This course will be held in the south of Spain.

CAC Course

Al-Qaeda leader urges kidnapping of Westerners

Kidnappers

Kidnapping cases differ in the motivations of the kidnappers, the demands being made for the release of the hostages, and the circumstances where the kidnapping has occurred. Terrorist and criminal groups both use kidnapping as a tactic to achieve their goals.Terrorist groups often target foreigners. In some instances, terrorists have killed their kidnap victims when their demands were not met. Foreign employees, particularly those in the oil and mining sectors, aid and humanitarian workers, journalists, tourists and expatriates are regularly targeted.Terrorists may use local merchants such as tour and transport operators to identify foreign visitors for potential kidnap operations. Hostages may be taken by their captors into a neighbouring country. Humanitarian workers and tourists in Kenya have been kidnapped by militants and held in Somalia.Pirates have kidnapped hundreds of people, usually holding them for ransom. Pirates have attacked all forms of shipping, including commercial vessels, pleasure craft (such as yachts) and luxury cruise liners. For more information you should read the Travelling by sea bulletin.In South America, terrorist groups are known to kidnap for ransom. Colombia has one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world, often perpetrated by groups such as the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) in rural areas. Foreigners, including children, have been kidnapped and murdered.Cultural festivals are also attractive places for terrorists and criminals to identify and target tourists for kidnapping. These festivals bring people to predictable locations along unsecured routes.

10 Countries Where You’re Most Likely be Kidnapped for Ransom

1. Afghanistan

There’s nothing quite like a war with al Qaeda and the Taliban to put this country at the top of the kidnapping list. Combine that with the fact that much of the landscape is still lawless and no wonder this country reported 950 kidnapping for ransom per year. Now that the war is over, a power vacuum certainly exists and the place is still a haven for terrorists, arguably making it even more dangerous than when American forces first arrived.

2. Somalia

Though piracy has been driven to a three-year low thanks to ships hiring armed security and increased action from the world’s navies, Somalia remains a high risk for kidnapping because of the abject poverty and a government not strong enough to stop crime. At least two people are taken in Somalia every month. Among those taken offshore, there are still more than 200 hostages in the region; just in January, a hostage was killed in a botched rescue attempt by French forces.

Hostage Situations

3. Iraq

American combat forces may have left Iraq, but the danger is still ever present. Though no official stats on kidnapping are collected, the country topped this list in 2007 with an estimated 1,500 kidnappings that year. Crisis-management assistance company Red 24 still places the country in the top three because of its combined political, terrorist and criminal groups all carrying out kidnappings for ransom. Not to mention the ever-present threat of civil war, which will only increase the likelihood of kidnappings should violence between Sunni and Shias resume to its 2007 level.

4. Nigeria

This country records more than 1,000 kidnappings for ransom a year. At the time of this writing, seven foreigners have been taken by armed militants from a construction company’s camp after a guard was killed. [Editor’s note: The seven hostages have since been reported as murdered.] Seven hostages makes this the biggest kidnapping yet in a country plagued by Islamic extremist groups. The one responsible for the latest kidnapping is called Ansaru; they are linked to al Qaeda and were allegedly responsible for an attack on Nigerian troops traveling to Mali in 2012.

5. Pakistan

Official American ally Pakistan has been known to harbour terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden, right under the nose of its military. They also harbour hostages—official statistics say there are more than 15,000 kidnappings in Pakistan a year, but the real number could be much higher due to underreporting. Perhaps more troubling is that between 10 and 20 percent of kidnappings are for ransom. Most of the others were killed during rescue and, in the case of Daniel Pearl and others, beheaded.

6. Yemen

Last December, when an Austrian man and a Finnish couple were kidnapped in broad daylight on one of the safest streets in the capital city of Sana’a, it highlighted just how lawless the city has become. Sana’a is normally immune from the tribal instability that affects the rest of the country, but this year kidnappings, car-jackings and general crime is on the rise. In the country overall, more than 200 foreign nationals have been kidnapped over the past 20 years.

7. Venezuela

Venezuela has one of the highest rates of abduction per capita in the world—just asked Wilson Ramos, the Venezuelan-born Washington Nationals catcher was kidnapped in his own country last year before being rescued. There were 1,000 kidnappings in just the first 10 months of 2011. The country puts “Express Kidnappings,” in which a ransom is demanded that an individual or family can easily pay, on the map. Sometimes you’ll hear of “The Millionaire Walk,” in which a traveller is trapped by a cab driver who picks up armed thugs before taking the passenger to a number of ATMs—maxing out their bank account with every stop.

8. Mexico

Thanks mostly to the failed War on Drugs, the Council for Law and Human Rights reports that there are about 72 kidnappings a day in Mexico, which puts the annual kidnap rate at 26,280 for the year. This is in direct contradiction to the statistics reported by the federal police, which put the kidnapping rate at 1,083 between January and September in 2012—a rate of 4.5 kidnappings per day. The council blames the abduction situation on corruption within the federal police. “The big problem we have in Mexico, in terms of security, is precisely the bodies that should provide security to citizens,” Fernando Ruiz , president of the Council for Law and Human Rights, told The Latinos Post.

9. Haiti

Thankfully, kidnappings have gone down in Haiti since their peak between 2004 and 2006, but the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti reports that they are still “fairly frequent.” The U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security agrees, but also says incidents are less predictable and more widespread than they used to be. Montreal’s La Presse suggests that kidnappings have not exploded since the earthquake in 2010, but they do rise during the holiday season, thanks to the belief that families have more cash on-hand during that time to pay for gifts and school tuition.

10. Colombia

Incidents have dropped over the past 10 years, but kidnapping still remains an ever-present threat in Colombia. The country still has one of the highest numbers of kidnap victims in the world; in the last few years, kidnappings have started to rise again from the all-time low of 172 in 2009 to 258 in 2011. The rise has been attributed to kidnappings carried out by drug cartels such as Los Rastrojos, but guerilla groups like the FARC AND ELN still play a prominent role.

 Other known risk areas:

Alergia, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Philippines, Lebanon, Syria, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa.

The Risk is eminent in the middle east and many of the South and Central American countries, Africa and in some parts of Asia

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive. 

This course will be held in the south of Spain.

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The Philippines – Forces intensify anti-kidnap drive


June 2, 2013

Source: krmagazine.com

Dismantling the network and neutralizing key leaders of kidnap-for-ransom groups are key to ending abductions in Western Mindanao, security officials said

Forces intensify anti-kidnap drive

Anti-kidnapping

Sr. Supt. Edwin S. de Ocampo, chief of the city police, said his office has intensified its intelligence gathering drive in tracking down key leaders of kidnapping groups.

“There is a fusion of information from the police and military intelligence units to track down leaders of this KFR (kidnap-for-ransom) groups,” he told BusinessWorld yesterday.

On Sunday, four members of a kidnap-for-ransom group based in nearby Zamboanga Sibugay province were nabbed in a shopping mall in this city.

Mr. de Ocampo said the police are monitoring the movements of the group for weeks with the suspects having standing warrants of arrest.

On Wednesday, another suspect was also apprehended in the town of Naga in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“These people are plain bandits. They are not members of any known kidnap groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group. Some are rogue members of insurgency groups,” said Mr. de Ocampo.

MILITARY OPTION
On a parallel effort, officials of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) said continuing operations have been ordered to capture Abu Sayyaf leaders in the island-provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Philippines-warren-rodwell

“There will be no letup in our efforts to neutralize these lawless groups,” Rodrigo T. Gregorio, spokesman of the command, said in a separate interview.

Military operations have been intensified following the intense battle between soldiers and the Sawadjaan faction of the Abu Sayyaf last Saturday. At least seven soldiers, including an officer, were killed in the encounter.

Mr. Gregorio said bandit casualties have reached 13 based on intelligence as of Thursday.

He said “continuing” military operations will deter kidnapping.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani, European birdwatchers Ewold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, Filipino-Chinese Carlos Ty Tiam, Japanese Toshio Ito and an unnamed child.

For his part, WesMinCom chief Maj. Gen. Rey C. Ardo said the military is putting pressure on the bandits while making sure the kidnap victims are safe.

“The safety of the victim is our utmost priority,” he said.

On Wednesday, the US and the British embassies have issued separate travel advisories to their citizens to avoid Western Mindanao, including Zamboanga Peninsula, due to threats of kidnapping.

“We will not take it [advisories] for granted,” Mr. de Ocampo said, adding that authorities have laid out a new security plan.

Col. Andrelino G. Colina, commander of Task Force Zamboanga, said “proactive” measures are needed to stall kidnapping activities, including gathering of information from within the criminal groups.

Although most of the current victims are foreigners, kidnappers are no longer selective in the target victims to include teachers, aid workers and small-time businessmen.

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Parental Abduction: Thailand Child Abduction Law


July 14, 2012

Source: Thailand Family Law Center

Child abduction or “child kidnapping” cases typically occur during a child custody dispute, when one parent flees a legal jurisdiction with a child to avoid the jurisdiction of a particular court. International law and Thailand family law may come into play when a child is abducted from a foreign country and taken to Thailand or when a child is taken from Thailand to a foreign country, or when a child is abducted by a parent within Thailand.

Q: What should I do if my child is abducted and taken to Thailand?

A: The first thing a parent must do if a child has been abducted is to contact a qualified Thailand family law attorney and make a police report. A qualified attorney will assist with filing the necessary complaints with legal authorities. Based on the circumstances of each case, a family attorney may file a police report with the relevant embassy in Thailand, or file a formal request pursuant to the Hague Treaty. A Thai Family Law Attorney can file a court complaint with the Thailand family court. If criminal charges are involved, a criminal complaint may also be required.

Q: Can the Hague Convention on Child Abduction be used in Thailand?

A: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides a procedure for parents who have had their children abducted by the other parent. The Hague Treaty on Child Abduction is executed through the governments of treaty member countries, but normally requires an attorney to file the appropriate documents with the government authority responsible for the retrieval of the child.

Thailand has formally acceded to the convention; however, at this time the proper procedures for acting upon the convention have not been codified into Thai law. This means that the convention, falls into an ambiguous area of Thailand law. In certain cases of child abduction originating in Thailand, wherein the child has been taken to a different that is a Hague connection signatory, a Hague Convention action may be filed through the relevant government authorities of the country. However, in cases where a child has been abducted and taken to Thailand, the aggrieved parents’ remedy may be through obtaining a court order from the Thai family court. Cases need to be examined individually.

Q: What is the procedure for retrieving a child who has been taken to Thailand?

A: In order to retrieve a child that has been abducted by a parent in Thailand, the parent who is seeking the return of the child must established custody rights of the child in Thailand Family Courts. A court order of sole custody can then be used by the aggrieved parent to obtain the return of the child. Such action can be enforced by Thailand court and police officials. Depending on the circumstances, a police complaint may also be necessary.

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

Torn apart: silent victims of parental child abduction


July 12, 2012

Source: Radioaustralia.net

Each year thousands of children around the world are victims of parental child abduction. They’re innocent victims caught up in a very adult world where disputes between parents have gone from bad to worse.

There is an international legal treaty in place to try to deter the practice, but many nations in the Asia Pacific are not signatories and now the Australian Government is being asked to try to change that. Catherine Graue reports.

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

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

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

Summer Holiday Is Parental Child Abduction Season


Child Recovery Services

Tragically International Child Abduction has reached global epidemic proportions.  According to leading experts the increase in inter-racial marriages and relationships  will, in the future, lead to a significant rise in the number of children born to parents of different nationalities 

As is true for all relationships, a statistically significant number of these marriages or partnerships will also end in divorce.       All too often, following the breakup of a marriage, one of the parents will abduct a child of that relationship against the wishes of the other parent,  frequently removing them to a country where the child has probably never lived.    – This is called “International Parental Child Abduction”.

Although there are various civil remedies available to  parents of abducted children , the challenges they face are enormous, including first and foremost, locating  the child .

Unfortunately for the majority of targeted parents, the financial burden involved in recovery and litigation falls upon their shoulders. With tens of thousands of children abducted by parents each year, the reality is that too many of these children never come home.  ABP World Group is dedicated to assisting those parents who need help in locating, rescuing, and returning  their abducted child home safely.

Our intelligence and investigative capabilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offer a safe and strategic solution to protecting what is most important to you : your child.

Unfortunately in this present climate parental kidnapping  occurs all too frequently and we are here to help you through this extremely traumatic  period.

We are aware that parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but through the use of professional operatives with the skills and expertise necessary to find a resolution. we are here to help you.

ABP World Group’s successful recovery and re-unification strategy relies on the use of all the means available  including, but not limited to:

Electronic Forensic Foot printing Investigations

Intelligence Gathering

Information Specialists/Skip Tracing

Evidence Procurement

Interview/Evaluation

Surveillance Special Ops

Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops

Domestic Support

International Operations

Maritime/Land/Air transport

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ABP World Group Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

(646) 502-7443 United States

069 2547 2471 Germany

020 3239 0013 United Kingdom

01 442 9322 Ireland
031-753 83 77 Sweden

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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NOTE: We are always available 24/7