Employees on business travel are usually prepared for language barriers, exotic customs and diverse negotiating styles, however they are probably not accustomed to the potential dangers of political upheaval and the increased danger of abduction and extortion.
Kidnapping is becoming a fact of life in many of the world’s most dangerous territories and it is big business. There are approximately 10,000 annual kidnappings worldwide with estimated returns of £1billion.
Yet kidnap and extortion can happen anywhere, anytime, with extortion potentially having a significant impact on the ability of a business to trade. Sensible measures should always be put in place to prevent the occurrence of kidnap for ransom as well as extortion.
Comprehensive, market leading insurance against these risks can form part of that process.
- Travelling to a foreign office, the owner of a family-run business was abducted. The kidnappers demanded a $3,000,000 ransom payment from the executive’s company or else they would kill him. Over five months and after many contacts, security consultants negotiated a final ransom of $600,000, delivered the payment, and recovered the victim unharmed.
- The daughter of an executive living abroad was abducted from his home. The kidnappers
contacted his company and demanded $1,000,000. He was willing to pay the full amount,
but a kidnap consultant, who knew the kidnappers, warned him to be patient to ensure
that payment would secure a safe release. The consultant obtained her release after one
month for $250,000. The expenses were $60,000.
- On his way to a company event, an executive was abducted at gunpoint by a band of rebels. The company contacted its public relations firm and announced to the press its desire to pay for the executive’s safe return. After three weeks of negotiation by a security consultant, the executive was released unharmed for $10,000,000. The expenses were $150,000.