Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion Events

Haiti gang wants $17M ransom for kidnapped American and Canadian missionaries - This article highlights the high risk of kidnap in Haiti, particularly in the capital and surrounding areas, including for Americans travelling to the region. "The gang that kidnapped a group of 17 American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti has asked for $1 million each for their release, a top Haitian official said Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The 16 American citizens and one Canadian were kidnapped by the powerful, "400 Mawozo," gang on Saturday after visiting an orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, a northeast suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince, officials said over the weekend." From CNN

Boko Haram abducts soldier, three aid workers in Borno -  This article on the kidnap of three aid workers in Borno, Nigeria, demonstrates, per the UN the  widespread practice by non-state armed groups of setting up illegal checkpoints along main roads heightening risks for civilians to be abducted, killed or injured, and especially for aid workers who are directly targeted.   “At least three humanitarian workers and a Nigerian soldier were on Tuesday abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in the northern part of Borno State, officials confirmed. Humanitarian workers travelling under a military escort, from Maiduguri to Monguno in the northern part of Borno, ran into an ambush that led to the abductions.” From Premium Times

Kidnapped Chinese man saved, AP among 4 suspects killed - This article on the kidnap of a foreign national in Nairobi Kenya, involving a police officer among the perpetrators, highlights the high risk in Nairobi. It is advised that if a suspicious demand is made by persons claiming to be security officers that the embassy be contacted for support. “Police officers on Saturday rescued an abducted Chinese man from a house at Sun Track Estate in Dagoretti, Nairobi County….. the victim was being held under an armed four-men-guard, who had demanded a $1million (Sh100 million) ransom from his brother to secure his release… the four included an Administration Police Officer.” From Daily Nation

2 Canadian women kidnapped at gunpoint in Ghana - This article provides an example of the need for aid workers to be vigilant regarding their security and surroundings while operating in developing countries.  “Two Canadian women, ages 19 and 20, who were volunteering for a charity in Ghana, were kidnapped at gunpoint Tuesday evening outside their apartment, according to reports. The two women - students at Kumasi Technical University - were outside their apartment in the Ahodwo district in the country’s second largest city of Kumasi around 8 p.m. when the gunmen grabbed them and bundled into a car. Police told the BBC that the two women, who have not been identified, were volunteers with Youth Challenge International, a Toronto-based international development organization.” From Fox News 

Threats like DHL extortion plot in Potsdam more common than you think – This article outlines how most extortions are not made public. An experienced crisis response firm associated with a Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion policy can be key in guiding an organization through the response process of an extortion demand, assisting with the best response to the extortion demands to resolve the incident and prevent further such events, liaising with governmental authorities, and assisting with the communications to the public if necessary.  “The commotion surrounding a suspicious package at a Potsdam Christmas market is how Germans found out about an extortion case at shipping giant DHL. Usually, companies keep such threats secret – for good reason. A great deal about the suspicious package planted in Potsdam last week was unusual, but not the fact that it was part of an extortion attempt against a large company. Between 7,500 and 8,000 blackmail cases are reported in Germany every year, says Frank Roselieb of the Institute for Crisis Research at the German University of Kiel. Based on its analysis of crime statistics, the institute concludes that there are on average 150 blackmail threats each week.” From Deutsche Welle 

Suspected militiamen kidnap 5 workers at Banro's east Congo mine – “Suspected militiamen have kidnapped five workers at Banro Corp's Namoya gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the company said on Thursday, in the second attack on its facilities in a month… The hostages included a French national, a Tanzanian and three Congolese, he said. New York and Toronto-listed Banro's four gold mines in eastern Congo have been plagued both by illegal miners squatting on site and by armed groups.” From Reuters

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