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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Child Abduction: Teach your child about stranger safety

August 20, 2012

Source: The Asian Parent

It pays to be cautious of who your child engages with in public places, but are we emphasising the wrong things when we teach our children about stranger-danger?

We’ve seen and heard the stories in the news, on crime dramas and even from friends. Child abductions, paedophilia, even maternal psychological conditions that lead to women believing other people’s children to be their own. As parents, we treat any and every of such stories dead seriously, but are we scaring ourselves — and our children — into a corner?

Protecting our children will always be the foremost priority. But existing perceptions of “stranger-danger” builds itself around a stereotyped shady-looking person whose sole purpose in life is to take away your child and do bad things to him or her.

Reality check: I’m not that person. And neither is more than 99.9998% of the Singapore population (or just about anywhere else), the last time I checked anywhere outside my house.

In fact, teaching your child about stranger-danger based on popular concepts may end up harming your child’s social development – and may even put your child in more danger. We explain and bust 3 major myths of stranger-danger so you can be the judge.

shutterstock 16842502 Teach your child about stranger safetyMyth 1: Don’t talk to strangers

Strangers are everywhere. They can be the neighbours that never say hi, casual shoppers in malls, hawkers selling you chicken rice, and even fill up an entire classroom on your child’s first day at school. Teaching your child not to talk to strangers will instill a fear of socialising within your child, when in reality, your child will need to learn to deal with strangers for the rest of his or her life.

Myth 2: Don’t go anywhere on your own

Part of a child’s learning and development depends on the ability to explore the world around him or her, with or without parental supervision. At some point your child will be old enough to take care of him- or herself, but before then, cautioning your child not to venture out on his or her own will only delay the process, and is also a major cause of parent-child attachment issues.

Myth 3: Stranger-danger is everywhere

Our media will play up missing children reports, not only for the sake of finding these children, but also because the drama draws more eyeballs. Similarly, local authorities will always caution for us to err on the side of safety, simply because it is the foolproof way of cutting down such incidents. Based on police statistics, though 3000 missing persons reports are filed annually, only 0.0002% of Singapore’s resident population remain missing every year, most of whom are adults and/or runaways, and not kidnap victims.

In fact, your child will much more likely be harmed or abducted by a known relative or family acquaintance than a stranger. But given that kidnapping is a crime punishable by death in Singapore, chances of your child being abducted is extremely slim given the risk the would-be abductor has to place on his life for the act.

We share some sensible insights by Lenore Skenazy, host of the radical parenting show “World’s Worst Mom”, who also helps reconnect worried parents with reality in her book, Free-Range Kids.

Teach your child to interact with strangers

Outside of your own family and social circle, the world is mostly made up of strangers, and in reality, we’re really all good people who just think your child is adorable.

In her book, Lenore categorically states that “(the) ‘Don’t trust anyone!’ lesson could conceivably end up making (a child) less safe”. In the event that a child does encounter a predator, he or she won’t be equipped with the social understanding that calling for help from other strangers and attracting attention is a viable option.

“The safest kids are the confident kids”

So says Ernie Allen, head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. His organisation provides a solution based on studying children successfully escaping abduction attempts — the kids did it by kicking and screaming, a reaction that children with reservations about themselves would probably not think of doing. Allen also mentions that this is the “same techniques you’d use to resist peer pressure over drugs or bullies or gangs.”

You are the precedent

Remember your own childhood and compare it to your own child’s time. “Forty years ago,” Lenore says, “the majority of U.S. children walked or biked to school. Today, about 10 percent do. Meantime, 70 percent of today’s moms say they played outside as kids. But only 31 percent of their kids do.”

Lenore’s Free-Range Kids movement seeks to ensure parents around the world that the world is a much safer place than the media — or we — make it out to be. But more importantly, it’s also about giving our children the childhood they deserve, full of play and none of the worry, just as we had when we were kids.

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Abducted children not priority, fathers say – Canadian police and courts called ineffective

Source: CBC News

Two Canadian fathers whose children were allegedly abducted by their mothers and taken to European countries say authorities have done little to try to enforce court orders and bring them back.

Calum Hughes breaks down when he talks about how he misses his little girl, who he has not seen since 2009. (CBC)

“I’m holding my hands up going, ‘Can somebody please do something about this?'” said Calum Hughes, whose five-year-old daughter Livia was allegedly abducted by her mother from B.C. and taken to Italy in 2009.

“Somebody is not doing their job behind a desk,” said Gary Mezo, from Thunder Bay, Ont. His two-year-old son Gary Jr. has been in Hungary for a year. Court records confirm his mother took him there without his father’s permission.

“I believe Canada has to put its foot down — finally — and do whatever is written in law what has been ordered in court.”

There is a two-year-old Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of Hughes’s ex-wife, Sibylla Verdi, for child abduction. He hasn’t seen Livia for 2½ years.

“It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of before I go to sleep at night,” said Hughes, of Kelowna, B.C.

Fathers have legal custody

Hughes is a hospital administrator and Mezo a successful businessman. Both were granted sole custody of their children by Canadian courts, but they said those orders have proven meaningless.

“A Canadian Supreme Court full custody ruling has no teeth,” said Hughes. “There’s not a lot of consequence that I see for a parent to just pick up and leave.”

Mezo alleges his ex was planning to abduct his son for more than a year.

“Before my child left, I told the police several times, please do something,” he said.

He has an affidavit and emails from a boyfriend of his child’s mother, showing she planned to leave and then claim abuse.

“He felt so bad that he couldn’t live with himself. He said that he had to do something about it. He wants me to have my child back,” said Mezo.

The Missing Children Society of Canada said while it has seen a steady increase in calls about international parental abductions, there is effectively nothing in place that could have prevented the abductions.

Child’s rights ‘at risk’

“The child’s rights are at risk here,” said private investigator Ted Davis. “A woman or man who wants to take their child [outside Canada or the U.S.] can simply jump on a plane and leave.”

Davis said his office is working on 60 cases of international abductions from Canada, dating back six years.

The latest RCMP figures show there were 237 reports of parental abduction in Canada in 2009 and 41 per cent of the children were under the age of five.

More than half the cases were resolved or withdrawn within a day. RCMP spokesperson Julie Gagnon said she didn’t know how many of the remaining children were taken to other countries.

She said when there is a warrant, as in the Hughes case, the RCMP can ask Interpol to put a “red notice” in the system, so the alleged abductor could be arrested at any border crossing.

She said, depending on the country and the case, extradition can also be initiated.

Dads desperate

However, Hughes said he heard nothing from the RCMP after a charge was laid against his ex-wife two years ago.

“They have done nothing,” said Hughes. “What message are we sending to everybody out there? If you don’t get a court order that you like, take your kid and leave the country? You will suffer no consequence? Is the Canadian justice system OK with that?”

RCMP spokesperson Dan Moskaluk insisted the investigation is still active.

“Resources involved in advancing this case since 2009 has involved RCMP investigators from the Kelowna detachment to assistance from our international policing branch liaison officer in Italy,” Moskaluk said.

CBC News sent messages to Sibylla Verdi, but received no response.

Mezo said he tried to get Thunder Bay police to pursue abduction charges in his case, but the investigating officer told him she couldn’t get approval. He believes that is partly because his wife falsely alleged he was abusive.

“It boils down to one thing — no reasonable grounds to get a charge approved,” said Thunder Bay police spokesperson Chris Adams. “These cases are very problematic. We don’t have the authority to enforce custody in another country.”

“It’s a very expensive proposition to initiate extradition on an abduction charge,” said Davis. “It’s not a priority [to police]. They don’t like getting involved in family cases when it’s not a life-threatening situation.”

Davis said under the current system, where parents can make applications for the child’s return under the Hague Convention, it takes two to three years and several thousand dollars to get children back, and it can only be done with signatory countries.

System slow, expensive

“If there’s no one stirring the pot, then no one is working the case,” he said. “The system is effective, but slow and very, very expensive.”

Both fathers made Hague applications. Italy refused to send Livia home, though, because the court believed his Italian ex-wife’s assertion that Hughes was an unfit father, allegations that were rejected by a Canadian court.

“That’s all needless details and garbage,” said Hughes. “I’ve spent over a hundred thousand dollars and how many hours in court. I’ve ended up with nothing in terms of a relationship with my daughter. ”

Mezo’s application is stalled in the Hungarian court system, which has sympathized with the Hungarian-born mother of his son.

“The Hungarian court said that ‘well there is no warrant out for her. She didn’t do anything wrong in Canada. So therefore we take it all with a grain of salt whatever the judge ordered in Canada,'” said Mezo.

His son’s mother, Boglarka Balog, sent an email to CBC News, again claiming abuse.

“The [Hungarian] court will value the behaviour of Gary that was violent so much in Hungary too, not only in Canada,” she wrote.

“Countries protect their own,” said Davis. “The stumbling block in Hague cases is when the court [overseas] is convinced there’s risk to the child [if returned].”

Call for exit controls

Hughes and Mezo said Canada should put some type of exit control in place, to try to stop parents from leaving with children they don’t have custody of.

“I was devastated when I learned [Livia and her mother] were gone because I knew what that meant,” said Hughes. “If they had been stopped, this would have all been prevented.”

“It’s happening everywhere [in the world]. But nobody is doing anything about it. Somebody has to step up and put their foot down and say enough is enough,” said Mezo.

Airlines and governments advise travellers to have a consent letter from the other parent if they want to fly with a child alone, but that system is voluntary.

“It’s smoke and mirrors — and those letters can be forged,” said Davis, who agreed exit controls are needed. “We have a file cabinet full of international cases.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) confirmed airlines can do nothing to stop a parent from leaving with a child, even when they don’t have a letter.

“Since there’s no governmental requirement, the airlines have no legal mandate to be checking these,” said spokesperson Perry Flint, who added airlines could open themselves up to lawsuits if they refuse to let a paying passenger board.

A U.S. government agency recently proposed establishing a “no fly” list – for parents who the courts have ruled are likely to abduct their children.

CBC News asked several federal departments if something like that is being considered for Canada. Transport Canada said it is not, Foreign Affairs did not reply and Public Safety said that would not be its department.

Both fathers said their children have been let down by a system that is ineffective and hasn’t made children’s rights a priority.

“I’ve tried everything by the book,” said Hughes. “This [going public] is my last hope to ever see Livia.”

“I wouldn’t have imagined in my dreams that my country would let me down or let my son down,” said Mezo. “It’s hard to go to work and pay taxes … when this country is not backing you up.”

Read: International Parental Child Abduction: The Hague convention – Proved Useless 

Read: When the Hague Convention won`t help

And: The Hague Convention is not enough to recover your child

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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

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

Parental Abduction: Fenham dad desperate to see daughter again

Source: ChronicleLive

A DESPERATE dad is facing Christmas without his daughter after she went missing on the other side of the world.

Andrew Laws, from Fenham, Newcastle, hasn’t seen his one-year-old daughter, Ashleigh, for seven months following a family holiday in the Philippines.

And now the 41-year-old’s mission to find her has hit a major stumbling block after he was robbed of £2,500 he had hoped he could use to bring her home.

Andrew claims his estranged Filipino partner is refusing to return to England with their child after they travelled to the South East Asian country in May to meet Ashleigh’s grandparents.

The former soldier, who is receiving consular assistance from the Foreign Office and backing from his MP, Chi Onwurah, was trying to raise the funds to travel to the Philippines in the hope of resolving the matter with Filipino officials and local police.

But now the despairing dad has been forced to contact police in the North East after an alleged conman swindled him out of £2,500.


Andrew paid the cash to a man posing as a reputable private investigator, who advertised on the internet and offered to help his case – but never heard from the man again.

The setback has dashed his hopes of being reunited with Ashleigh in time for the festive season, despite UK courts claiming he has every right to custody of the toddler.

He said: “I met this guy online and he sent me emails and it all seemed to check out. Other people vouched for him and I made some checks and he seemed legit.

“I paid him a lot of money, £2,500, through my bank account, but I’ve since heard that he’s totally dodgy, and I’m not the only one. There’s quite a lot of other people he’s defrauded.

“It’s a major setback. It’s just a never-ending saga, and it’s hard to stay positive.

“Christmas day is just going to be terrible. I’m really not looking forward to it at all. But I’m just going to have to pick myself up again. I’m looking forward to a new start next year. I’m going to try to find a private investigator I can really trust.”

Andrew, who served in Iraq before retraining as a computer programmer, has been told by authorities in Britain that traveling to the Philippines is his only hope of getting his daughter back.

Complex international laws mean there is little the Government can do from here, other than request that the child be returned. But the Filipino Government appears to be doing little to help.

Determined Andrew said: “I’ve never failed at anything I’ve put my mind to and I’m not going to fail in bringing my daughter home.”

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, has written to the Foreign Office asking them to demand Ashleigh is returned to the UK.

She said: “Christmas is for families, especially children, so my heart goes out to Mr Laws, separated from his daughter. I’ve written to the Foreign Office and he has their support.”

The Foreign Office said it is not their policy to comment on individual cases where children are involved.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “We can confirm we received a call reporting a potential fraud and inquiries are being made.”

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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

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