UK arranged marriages: Kidnapping, rape and murder in the name of family honour


November 26 , 2013

Source: ABP News

“We have kidnappings, abductions, assaults, sexual offences. Anything that you can imagine could happen, does happen, in the name of honour,” says Nazir Afzal, Crown Prosecutor for the north-west of England.

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And murder – 10 to 12 cases a year. Yet as the hyper-active, smartly dressed lawyer concedes in his Manchester office, violence invoked in the name of family honour, mostly by citizens of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin, is often hidden and unreported.

Mr Afzal knows about honour, having grown up in Birmingham in a Pakistani Muslim household.

Honour, he says, can be a good thing, helping bind families and communities together.

But, “at the moment in so many communities, in so many families, it is merely used to suppress women, to oppress women. So, if they misbehave in some way, or make their own choice, they have dishonoured the family. If men do the same, well it’s men – you know they do what they want. Regrettably too often it’s used to control women.”

After World War II, Britain received waves of migrants from its former colonies in India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh.

Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and others came, some for higher education, but mostly to work in the factories around London and in the Midlands and north of England.

dishonor_murder

In England, generations who self-identify as Asian now number more than 4 million, 8 per cent of the English population.

‘In the name of the father, the son, and the male members of the family’

Arranged marriages are a still a feature of migrant communities, with parents agreeing that their children will marry, particularly first cousins. But for teenagers growing up in the United Kingdom, torn between the strictures of home and the freedoms of 21st century Britain, arranged marriages too often become forced marriages.

“There are probably between 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages or threats of forced marriages in the United Kingdom every year,” Mr Afzal says.

“We prosecuted more than 200 cases last year of honour-based violence. What we have here are crimes in the name of the father, the son and the blessed male members of the family.”

Currently there is no law against forced marriage in the United Kingdom. That will change early next year, with new legislation similar to that introduced this year in Australia.

Hundreds of young girls disappear from British schools every year

Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a unit devoted to trying to prevent young people, mostly girls and women but also boys and men, being compelled to travel abroad to marry someone whom in many cases they have never met.

The Forced Marriage Unit handled 1,485 cases last year, 35 per cent of them involving teenagers aged 17 or younger. One of its biggest problems is trying to track down people who travel to South Asia and never return.

Mr Afzal says a British government survey of school pupils highlighted the problem.

“They discovered hundreds and hundreds of young girls, and by that I mean 11, 12, 13-year-olds, who would just disappear off the school rolls.”

While it is illegal in the United Kingdom for anyone to marry under the age of 16, marriages involving children still happen in South Asia and the Middle East.

Sometimes girls do not return to Britain until they are pregnant, the theory being that this may assist the process by which the husband seeks residency in the United Kingdom.

Girl told to ‘put a spoon in your knickers’ at airport to avoid being sent abroad

Jasvinder Sanghera, who escaped a forced marriage by running away from her Sikh family home in Derby at the age of 15, formed Karma Nirvana 20 years ago to help people in trouble.

She says the Leeds-based charity has received more than 30,000 calls since 2008.

“To me that’s a drop in the ocean … it could be quadrupled,” she said.

 

Ms Sanghera recalls an occasion when a girl feared she was being taken abroad against her will.

“The call handler said, ‘Put a spoon in your knickers. When you go through security it will go off and at that point you’re going to be stopped by a security guard and say I’m being forced to marry’. Which is exactly what she did, and it saved her life.”

Campaigning on the issues of forced marriages has given Ms Sanghera a high profile, an MBE, a meeting with prime minister David Cameron and with countless senior police and other government officials. And yet she believes schools, police and communities are not taking forced marriages and honour-based violence seriously enough.

“If you are Asian and missing from education, the same questions are not asked as [of their] white counterparts here in Britain,” she said.

“And that has not changed because we know there are hundreds going missing off our school rolls. Maybe they’re not being forced into marriage, but the point is, ask the question and look into it. They’re not even doing that.”

As for police: “There are some police forces which are doing sterling work now and trying to get it right. On the ground it’s a different story. There are 43 police forces across the UK and I would refer to potentially four [getting it right]. You know, it’s very much dependent on the person you get on the day.”

British police have been severely criticised for their failures in a series of high-profile honour killings:

  • Banaz Mahmud, 20, strangled on the orders of her father and uncle
  • Surjit Athwal, 27, murdered on the orders of her mother-in-law and brother-in-law
  • Shafilea Ahmed, 17, suffocated by her parents.

In each case, police initially, and in some cases repeatedly, failed to comprehend the seriousness of the threat.

As Ms Sanghera tells trainee detectives in Birmingham, relating the Banaz Mahmud case: “She told police her family was planning to kill her because she’d left an abusive marriage and was seen kissing a man outside a Tube station. And she was not believed. She was dealt with as being melodramatic, fantasising.”

Just a month later she’d been raped and garrotted, her body packed in a suitcase and buried in a garden.

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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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Egypt – Kidnapping damages reputation of Sinai tribes: Bedouin spokesperson


May 22, 2013

Source: ahramonline.org

Tribal coalition in Sinai Peninsula is working with Egyptian authorities to discover whereabouts of seven security personnel kidnapped last week.
Rafah
File photograph, the Rafah border terminal between Egypt and Gaza, and the only gateway for Gaza’s people, is closed and guarded by Egyptian border guards in Rafah, Egypt. (Photo: AP)
A spokesperson for Bedouin tribes in the Sinai Peninsula has denied knowing the location of seven Egyptian security personnel kidnapped in the region on Thursday.

Speaking on Beytna El-Kebir on state television on Saturday, Coalition of Arab Tribes spokesperson Moussa El-Lahawi said the incident “hurts the reputation of the tribes.”

El-Lawahi added that he was in constant communication with the security services and was helping them search for the kidnapped men.

On Thursday, seven Egyptian security personnel – a member of the armed forces, four port security officers, and two state security officers – were kidnapped by unknown assailants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

It is not the first time since Egypt’s revolution in 2011 that confrontations have taken place between security forces and tribesmen.

Some Sinai residents seek revenge against the security forces for their heavy-handed policies under Mubarak-era interior minister Habib El-Adly, who many accuse of failing to respect human rights and tribal traditions.

Sinai_Risk_Tribes

Mohamed El-Asati, a member of Sinai’s Aleiqat tribe, told Ahram Online on Thursday that interior ministry policies had left a painful legacy among local tribesmen, especially under the current Muslim Brotherhood-led government.

El-Asati added, “The security apparatus do not respect tribal traditions or customs,” he said. “We have always been regarded as shepherds, drug traffickers or spies for Israel. So after the revolution, you find psychological reasons for [tribesmen’s] desires for vengeance.”

“We paid a heavy price in terms of our security and dignity in the Mubarak era … We will not allow the interior ministry’s old brutal policies to return during the era of Muslim Brotherhood rule,” he asserted.

Militants allegedly belonging to Tawhid wal-Jihad (Monotheism and Jihad) were convicted of killing five security officers and one civilian during attacks in June/July 2011 on an Al-Arish city police station and a North Sinai branch of the Bank of Alexandria. Twenty-five individuals were charged over the attacks.

A security source, who asked not to be named, stated on Thursday that the kidnappers had accused Egyptian security forces of torturing one of the detained men.

In response to the kidnapping, Egyptian policemen closed the entrance and exit gates to the port of Rafah. The protest entered its third day on Sunday.

 

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Risk Management – Kidnapping Gangs Shift from Venezuela-Colombia Border


May 21, 2013

Source: insightcrime.org

Binational kidnapping gangs made up of Colombians and Venezuelans are spreading from the border states into central Venezuela, fuelling a trend that has seen Venezuela overtake Colombia as a kidnapping hotspot.

FARC-Gerilja_Colombia

Over the course of a week,Venezuelan courts sentencedseven Colombians and one Venezuelan to prison for kidnapping in the central state of Yaracuy, while an alleged kidnapping gang consisting of four Venezuelans and one Colombian was broken up in the border state of Tachira.

According to police sources cited by El Nacional, the cases are part of a trend that in recent months has seen Colombian and Venezuelan kidnappers working together both in western and central Venezuela. According to the newspaper, there have also been reports of binational gangs in the Capital District and the states of Merida and Zulia, near the border.

InSight Crime Analysis

Over the last decade, Venezuela and Colombia have been on opposite trajectories when it comes to kidnapping. In 2012, Colombia recorded 85 percent less kidnappings than in 2002, when the country was renowned as the world’s kidnapping capital. In contrast, kidnapping in Venezuela rose by an estimated 430 percent between 1999 and 2011 (although statistics from Venezuelan should be approached cautiously, as a lack of trust in official figures has led to organizations using estimates rather than the officially reported numbers). In 2012, there were 1,970 kidnappings in Venezuela, according to a study by criminologist Fermin Marmol Garcia, compared to 305 in Colombia.

The Venezuela-Colombia border is a hive for criminal activity, much of it fuelled by the cross-border operations of narco-paramilitary groups such as the Rastrojos. Colombian guerrilla groups like the FARC and the ELN are know to conduct kidnapping operations in Colombian border states like Arauca, then move their victims into Venezuela, where the ransom is then collected. The general atmosphere of lawlessness in this border region has almost certainly contributed to the growth of binational kidnapping rings, including those which are now reportedly moving away from the frontier states and more deeply into Venezuelan territory.

Note:

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.

 

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Companies Overlooking Most Crucial Part of Kidnap & Ransom Insurance


May 21, 2013

Source: Sacbee

Full protection comes from choosing an experienced crisis response firm with specific skills, says Lockton Report.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 16, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — The ransom and extortion industry is lucrative and the danger zone has expanded well beyond Central and South America, yet companies tend to downplay the importance of a Kidnap & Ransom insurance policy.

Kidnap-Ransom

Too often, companies complete an insurance application, choose the lowest price, and file it away without giving much thought to the decision that can make all the difference on the safety of their staff. A new report by Lockton explains how to choose a crisis response firm so that K&R insurance offers not only protection, but also preparedness in the event of a kidnapping.

The report, authored by Lockton’s Michal Gnatek and entitled Out the Shadows: Selecting Your Kidnap & Ransom Partners,” identifies ransom and extortion industry trends and danger zones. Gnatek then reviews a process for securing K&R coverage and vetting crisis response teams to ensure a comprehensive insurance program.

“We recommend that insureds focus on the back room: the crisis response firm that will be on the other end of the phone when the need arises,” Gnatek said. “They should have extensive language capabilities and a good history of successful negotiations, among other things.”

After choosing a crisis response team, Lockton recommends companies work with their insurance broker to select the insurer who can meet their needs. There are many factors to consider, including the relationship between the insurer and the chosen crisis response firm. An experienced insurance professional can provide guidance throughout the process.

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Risk Assessment – Threat of ‘lone wolf’ terrorism growing, experts warn


April 30, 2013

Source: The daily telegraph

All eyes may be on Africa, but there are fears of a new, unpredictable threat in the west: the so-called “lone wolf”.

Anders-Behring-Breivik-ABB

This isn’t about a particular country or cause, and some worry it could be a growing trend.

In 2011 Anders Behring Breivik shocked the world with a Norwegian terror rampage. He bombed government buildings in Oslo before going on a shooting spree at a camp held by the country’s Labour Party. The bombings killed eight people, and the shooting left 69 dead.

Breivik was later found to hold various far-right beliefs, including a perception of Islam and Marxism as “the enemy”.

There are fears this kind of attack could happen more often.

Workplace violence

In America, Nidal Malik Hasan is set to undergo court martial proceedings this year after being accused of carrying out a mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. The shooting, which happened in 2009, left 13 dead and 30 injured.

The Fort Hood attack is regarded by some as terrorism because of Hasan’s alleged radicalisation, with reports he had been emailing Anwar al-Awlaki, a cleric and alleged al-Qaeda recruiter based in Yemen, and monitored for several years as a security threat. The US Department of Defence, however, has referred to it as an act of workplace violence.

Lone wolf attacks could be related to various forms of extremism – for example, Islamism or neo-Nazism – but the danger is that they are hard to track. People operating alone can be harder to follow than a large organisation.

In a recent book, Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understand the Growing Threat, security consultant Jeffrey D Simon argues that lone wolves can be more creative than terrorist groups.

Terrorists

Terrorist breeding ground

He also points out the importance of the internet as a potential breeding ground for terrorists – though this is also an opportunity for counter-terrorism agencies to monitor potential threats.

Britons present their own risks, with a potential rise in British-born terrorists who have trained abroad before returning to the UK.

Last year the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank predicted that terrorists could put their training in countries including Somalia, Yemen or Nigeria to use on UK streets.

In a report, RUSI director-general Michael Clarke wrote: “The threat they pose, so far, is in the possibility that high numbers of such individuals, operating alone and unsupported, albeit in an amateur way, may nevertheless be lucky in a few attempts.

“They are harder to track and their behaviour much harder to predict.”

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


April 29, 2013

Source: Krmagazine.com

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

Kidnap_Bulgaria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eastern_European_Mafia_Police

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

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

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What Are the Different Types of Stalking Crimes and How to Deal With it


April 13, 2013

In legal terms, stalking refers to obsessive and unwanted attention or surveillance that is directed toward a person or group of people. In the 1990s, the United States was one of the first countries to make stalking illegal, and since then a few types of stalking crimes have been recognized. The three major types of stalking include online stalking, phone stalking, and physical stalking.

Stalker

Cyberstalking, or online stalking, occurs when an individual uses the Internet or some other kind of technology to stalk or otherwise harass victims. Although it is a relatively new concept, incidents of cyberstalking have prompted new laws that specifically outlaw online stalking. In the United States, California was one of the first states to outlaw cyberstalking.

Some online stalkers create a website, blog, or online profile in their victim’s name. With this, they can post false information or make fake threats to a third party. In one example of this, two Florida teenagers were arrested and charged with aggravated stalking after creating a fake profile on a popular social networking site under a classmate’s name, where they posted lewd photos and messages.

Stop-Stalking

The Internet is a wealth of information for stalkers. With it, they can monitor an unsuspecting victim’s activity several ways, especially through social networking sites. In addition to their full names, addresses, and birth dates, many users also post information such as email addresses, phone numbers, or even where they will be and what they are doing at any given moment. This information can be used in a variety of ways.

Online stalking crimes often lead to phone stalking or physical stalking. Individuals who engage in phone stalking often call their victims at all hours of the night and day. Sometimes these calls can be threatening or sexually explicit, while other times they are just annoying to the victim.

Experts agree that the best method of dealing with these calls is to ignore them. Victims of phone stalking crimes are typically advised against answering the calls, but to record when they come in. It is also suggested that they report the harassing phone calls to their phone companies, as well as local law enforcement officials. Many police departments can’t do much, however, until some sort of physical contact has been made.

Physical stalking crimes are believed to be the scariest and most dangerous of the types of stalking crimes. Individuals involved in this type of stalking will often follow their victims, sometimes even showing up at their homes or places of business. Although the stalker may start by simply watching the victim or possibly leaving gifts for him/her, this type of behavior can possibly escalate into more dangerous behavior. It is not uncommon for these types of stalkers to vandalize a victim’s home or car, or even physically attack the victim.

If you feel that you or your family are in danger, Contact us at ABP World Group Ltd.

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Kidnapping for ransom is spreading across the world


January 23, 2013

Source: qz.com

Investors and businesses in emerging markets increasingly have another thing to worry about: kidnapping for ransom.

kidnapping-graphic

What was once a crime associated mostly with Latin America is becoming worryingly common across the rest of developing world. “Over the last four, five years, kidnapping has become more global of a phenomenon,” says Jim Brooks, CEO of Control Risks. “It’s always happened globally, but now we’re seeing people exploit kidnapping as a means of revenue generation for whatever they’re doing.”

kidnapping_02

About 55% of the world’s recorded kidnaps-for-ransom in 2004 were in Latin America (Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela generally have some of the highest numbers). Last year, the region accounted for only a quarter of the incidents, and Asia and Africa made up over half. Ransoms average around $2 million, according to Greg Bangs of Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, but in some places like Sub-Saharan Africa they are as much as $60 million. See the list of the top 20 countries with the highest numbers of kidnapping cases here (p. 84).

Why are we seeing the spread of this trend? For one, places that have been recently destabilized are reporting more cases,  like the Middle East following the Arab Spring in 2011. Or foreign investment and travel by foreigners to new markets may simply be providing more kidnapping opportunities in more places. Brooks says, “I suspect it’s a variety of things from the global war on terror to higher economic challenges and increasing… knowledge and understanding of [kidnapping for ransom] as a criminal enterprise.”

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FAMILY ABDUCTION IS NOT OK!


November 21, 2012

Source: hvinsider.com

Having done legal work for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for decades, the most important thing to know is that, not only is family abduction a crime, it is considered a form of child abuse.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: “family abduction has been characterized as a form of child abuse because of the harmful effects it has on children. Abducted children may be forced to lead a fugitive life under assumed names, sometimes with altered appearances, and kept out of school to avoid detection. The abductor may tell them the left-behind parent abandoned them, does not love them, or is dead. They may be neglected by their abductors and indoctrinated to fear law-enforcement officers and other adults who might help them.

In addition to possible long-term psychological harm, abducted children may be physically harmed at the time of the abduction as well as during the period of concealment. Parents most likely to harm their children are those who have serious mental and personality disorders, a history of violence or abuse, or little or no prior relationship with their child.

If you have ever seen the heartache of a parent who doesn’t know if their child(ren) is alive or dead, you will take this seriously. The last time I was involved in a Family Abduction, the abductor was found living on the West Coast, in a campgroup, with the children, by alert citizens who had seen the children on a milk carton.

For more information about the impact of abduction on victim children contact Take Root, an organization of adult members who were victims of parental abduction as children. Visitwww.takeroot.org or call toll-free at 1-800-ROOT-ORG (1-800-766-8674).”

For even a more in-depth look at Family Abduction please see the link below.

http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC75.pdf

 

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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