If you go on a business trip or work in an exotic location as an expat, you should always be prepared for kidnappings, being taken hostage and extortion, according to the Crisis Monitor from Unity Resources Group. Africa and Central and South America remain the favourite spots for pirates and kidnappers. We have created a regional analysis of the kidnap and ransom figures for you.
In Q2 2017, Central and South America saw a fall of 20% in the number of kidnappings, but remained the second most affected region.
Mexico is still combatting increasing violence as the large drug cartels split into smaller groups. As a result, May saw the highest number of murders recorded in the last 20 years.
In Colombia, dissident rebels continue to disrupt the peace talks between the ELN, the FARC and the Colombian government.
Europe is the second least affected region. Europeans are mostly kidnapped and taken hostage in the Americas, primarily in Mexico and Colombia. However, a number of terror attacks have taken place in Moscow, Stockholm and the United Kingdom to name but a few. Europe will always run a greater risk of terror attacks than, for example, the United States, as the European mainland is much closer to conflict zones such as the Middle East.
On a global level, Africa has seen the most kidnappings in Q2 2017. When compared to Q1, this number has risen by 65%. This huge increase is spread across various African countries, but is primarily focused in Central Africa (Congo, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria), the Gulf of Aden and part of the Arabian Sea.
Alongside the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, unrest in the Middle East increased thanks to the economic blockade of Qatar, which interrupted trade and business trips to as well as in the country. The Iraqi government announced that they had once again driven Isis from the northern city of Mosul, yet the terror group remained in control of a large city in the south and continued to carry out suicide attacks and kidnappings around the country. In Turkey, the main issue is that of illegal imprisonment. A number of journalists and human rights activists were arrested in Q2 2017 on suspicion of committing acts of treason against President Erdogan’s regime.
In Asia, the number of kidnappings dropped by 50% in Q2 2017, but in Pakistan and Papua New Guinea we have seen a noticeable increase. Pakistan has to contend with ongoing difficulties between militants and the army, while Papua New Guinea is mainly affected by piracy along its coastlines. In the Philippines, too, the security situation is deteriorating due to fierce and persistent clashes between Islamic militants and the Philippine government.
Before you establish a branch abroad or expand your international sales market, it is essential that you are well informed of the socio-economic climate, the cultural, religious and political principles and how you should react in unfamiliar situations. The kidnap and ransom specialists at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits are happy to advise you on this complex matter.