Kidnapping – A Commercialized Terror. It’s 6:00 am, a young man on his way to work, was whisked away in a white car by Unknown gunmen to an unknown destination. It was a faithful Tuesday morning by 2:45 am, some suspected gunmen in their troop with motorbikes storm the hostel of some boarding students and made away with 120 students. And the story goes on and, on every day, one day one trouble! This is the story we hear on a daily basis in our dear country, Nigeria. What do you need to know about kidnapping? How can you protect yourself and your family from this menace raising its’ ugly head? Will there ever be a lasting solution to the menace of kidnapping? This article will answer these questions.
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Kidnapping is a criminal offense consisting of unlawful taking and carrying away of a person by force or fraud. It can also be, the unlawful seizure and detention of a person against his will.
Reasons For the Surge in Kidnapping
Experts suggest a host of reasons for the recent surge. The desperate economic situation in some areas is one. More people are traveling for business or as tourists than ever before, thus opening up new fields for kidnappers in search of prey.
Where do all these kidnappers come from? Some military soldiers are leaving service due to what they discern as a decline in morale, leaving former soldiers unemployed, with empty pockets. These people have all the necessary skills to take up this lucrative business.
Similarly, the use of more efficient measures against bank robbery and crackdowns on drug dealing has caused criminals to take up kidnapping as a substitute source of income. Thereby making Kidnapping – a commercialized terror. An expert on kidnapping says:
“As we make crimes against property more difficult in all societies, it forces crimes against people.”Mike Ackerman
Publicizing high ransom payments could also induce potential kidnappers.
Kidnapping Many Suggestions – Few Solutions
For many families of kidnap victims, only one solution seems viable—to bail out their loved ones as quickly as possible. But experts warn that if the ransom is high and is paid too quickly, kidnappers might consider the family an easy target. They might come back a second time, or ask for a second ransom before releasing the victim.
Some families have paid high ransoms only to find that the victim was already dead. So, experts say that one should never pay a ransom or engage in negotiations before the proof is obtained that the victim is alive. Such proof could be in the form of the answer to a question that only the victim would be able to provide. Some families ask for a photo of the victim.
What about rescue actions? They are often associated with great risk, says an expert on kidnappings.
“Seventy-nine percent of all hostages are killed during rescue attempts in Latin America,”Brain Jerkins
Sometimes, however, rescue attempts are successful.
Not surprisingly, many solutions focus on kidnap prevention. It is not only government authorities that are engaged in attempts to prevent kidnappings. The bulk of such preventive measures depends on individuals.
Kidnapping – What You Should Know
In the past, kidnappers targeted principally the rich, but times have changed. A report from Reuters states:
“Kidnapping has become a daily occurrence in Guatemala, where people fondly remember the good old days when leftist rebels targeted only a handful of wealthy businessmen. Now rich and poor, young and old, are fair game for kidnap bands.”Reuter
This is exactly the situation we find ourselves in Nigeria. High-profile cases are generally given extensive media attention, but by far the majority of kidnappings are settled without publicity. As this menace continues to spread around the geopolitical zones of the country, you need to know these important tips in other to protect yourself from these group that is making Kidnapping- a commercialized terror:
- SELF AWARENESS: Recognize your self-worth, assess the threat level of your environment and the perception of others about you, in the location you stay.
- KNOW YOUR DOMESTICS AIDS: Your security man, drivers, cook, etc are more like part of your household. They know your in’s and out’s. Be humble enough to take care of them. Listen to them thoroughly when they tell you issues relating to security. Don’t fail to act on those little details promptly.
- BE VIGILANT: Being vigilant entails being conscious of every activity. This includes happenings around you and your immediate environment.
- BE MODEST IN YOUR DRESSING: Dress to avoid being noticed. Do not wear expensive wears or ornaments like jewelry that are conspicuous, which can make you noticeable.
- SPEAK OUT AT THE RIGHT TIME: Speak out to the right authority, whenever you notice strange activities around you. This will ensure preventive crime measures. As you do that be sure to avoid raising false alarms. Do not wait to be kidnapped before taking action.
Educate Your Family About Kidnapping
- Monitor your children’s use of social media, know who their friends are on such media. If necessary, be their friend in such media so as to know their friend and what they post.
- Educate your children on the dangers of revealing personal and family information to strangers or the public. These include your or their travel or movement itinerary.
10 Things You Must Do to Avoid Being Kidnapped
- Avoid regular routine/activities such that anyone can predict where you could be at a given time. On this, identify and use different routes To and FRO your home and workplace. Do not leave home for work or work back home at the same time on a daily basis. If you do “workout”, do not tour the same route and location every day.
- Avoid flaunting new cars, houses, and other luxurious assets on social media platforms. These may attract the wrong people to you. Therefore, exposing you to kidnapping.
- Keep your personal itinerary secret, do not inform anyone who has no need to know, your personal movement.
- Avoid revealing family activities and personal data about yourself and your family on social media. A lot of kidnap incident has been traced to strangers monitoring your post on social media. Be wise you never can tell who is monitoring you on your social media handle. Do not reveal addresses and places you visit frequently on social media
- Install CCTV cameras. They can be the source of information for security.
- Know your neighbors and details of their job. To avoid living close to a potential kidnapper or their accomplices.
- Keep emergency numbers. Do you feel like being monitored or followed by strangers? Call these numbers.
- Do not discuss finance in the public or in the car with your personal driver. Avoid phone calls that involve a large sum of money, so as not to send the wrong signal to people around you including kidnappers.
- Maintain a moderate lifestyle. Looking expensive all the time can make you a prime target for kidnappers.
- Avoid urgent and unnecessary travels. The country’s highways are not only bad but dangerous for travelers. Except for extremely important reasons, limit travels by roads.
In conclusion, kidnapping is presently a commercialized terror in the country and irrespective of the fact that the government is doing the best they can to combat it, their best seems not to be enough to end it. It beholds all citizens to do the best they can, to protect themselves and their household from kidnappers.
10 Things to Do If Kidnapped
In our next article, we will discuss the above subject, and further, inform you of what you and your loved ones need to do when kidnapped. We thank you for reading this article and hope it was informative. I know you enjoyed reading this article “Kidnapping – a commercialized terror”, share with family and friends via the share buttons below. And if you desire to write to Us or comment on this article, we do appreciate hearing from you!
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