Post by: Mark Deane
Express Kidnap is a method of abduction, usually violent in nature where a small ransom is either demanded, normally from the family or employer of the victim, or by the victim being forced to withdraw money from his or her ATM account.
Often Express Kidnap gangs will orchestrate a scenario, either through pre-attack planning, or dynamic assault of an individual or group. The most common method is to forcefully gain and maintain control of the victim/s inside a vehicle. Then drive the victim/s around to different ATMs, and have them provide their PINs (normally through intimidation and force), withdrawing the largest amount/s possible.
Frequently gangs work in tandem with Taxi drivers, and/or wait at key locations such as airports, ATMs, outside bars/nightclubs looking for potential targets, and the most opportune moments to strike.
Although accurate statistics are very hard to come by, Execsecure has experienced, and noted through their network the majority of Express Kidnappings end with the victim/s being released. The ordeal is often violent and traumatic but only rarely do they develop into Actual Kidnap, or Murder. However, just like all violent crimes, the situation can escalate and deteriorate rapidly.
Any abduction, even if initially planned as a short-term Express Kidnap can develop. There have been multiple cases of Express kidnappings turning into sexual assault, and also developing into long-term actual kidnap. The criminal gang could also react adversely to you and your behavior, losing their patience or having aggressive outbursts (sometimes fueled by drugs and alcohol), or fear reprisals and the victim being able to identify them later, and an Express Kidnap can turn into a murder.
There are five key things one can do to increase chances of Surviving Express Kidnap:
If you are 'in the bag' or in the criminal gang's control - comply and follow their demands. Do not over complicate, nor become aggressive. The first 15 minutes of any kidnap will likely be the most dangerous as nerves of the attackers will be at the highest and the hostiles are more likely to do something stupid, and violent.
- Stay Calm, breathe
Easier said than done, but this is the only way to assess the situation and control the adrenaline that will undoubtedly be rushing through your system. Think calmly and come up with a plan. One way to help stay calm is to control your breathing, focus on it, try to regulate it and get your adrenaline to work for you, rather than panicking.
We teach the Acronym CRAP® - think Oh CRAP -Stay Calm, make a Rapid Assessment, and then be Pro-active in action. Click here to learn more about how thinking CRAP can save your life.
- Be Human and ingratiate
An Express Kidnap will likely be short term, on average anything from a few minutes to over 24 hours, but try to establish a rapport with your captors. Family and Sport are a universal subject. Try to know the local Soccer/Football teams and some key players of the areas that you are visiting prior to traveling. Your goal should be to get the hostiles to view you as a real person, rather than simply an object. Avoid going firm on opinions of religion, politics and race – this is likely to deteriorate and could increase the risk to you.
- Pay Attention and Constantly Assess
Listen to everything, try to gauge the mood, interactions, plans and movements of your captors. Try to identify how many people there are and if they are armed, and if so what with. If you are in a car is it new or old, does the door lock automatically or is it manual – if you have to escape and open the door will you get stopped at the first hurdle? Which direction are you headed, do you hear pedestrians when you stop, and other traffic? Try to paint a picture so you can decide whether you stick it out, in which case you think you will survive, or things are deteriorating and you need to escape because are in imminent danger.
- Act Decisively, and With Purpose
If you are in the honestly held belief that you are not getting out of the situation alive or seriously injured - decide to escape. Be confident that you can, be pro-active and commit 100% once you 'pull the trigger' - use your adrenaline, picture your escape and see it through. Be aggressive, be confident and do not hesitate.
One of the best things an organization can do that will minimize the risk of Express Kidnap significantly is using Trusted, Secure Transportation services . Click here to learn more about the Secure ground Transportation services offered by Execsecure.