Kidnap and Ransom

News, information and statistics about kidnap for ransom activities. Data about the security threat is collected from intelligence reports, security companies, kidnap for ransom insurance brokers, hostage negotiators and other public information.

Piracy involving kidnapping for ransom in Somalia employs around 1,4000 people.

Source: UNODC, “The Globalization of Crime,” Chapter 9: Maritime Piracy, June 2010.

Kidnapping for ransom along global shipping routes lead to an increase in insurance premiums for ships from $20,000 in 2008 to $150,000 at the end of 2009.

Source: UNODC, “The Globalization of Crime,” Chapter 9: Maritime Piracy, June 2010.

96 percent of all kidnappings in Mexico are not reported to the police.

Source: William Finnegan, “Silver or Lead,” New Yorker, May 31, 2010.

There were over 110 cases of kidnapping for ransom of expatriates working in Nigeria between January 2009 and May 2010.

Source: Associated Press, “US warns of Nigerian kidnappings after 2 deaths,” Google News, May 24, 2010.

As many as 20 million Mexicans have fallen victim to “virtual kidnapping” schemes, where callers pretend to have kidnapped a love and demand a ransom payment to release them.

An estimated 12,000 calls are made each day searching for victims.

Source:  Michael E. Miller, “Mexico: A phone call, a scream and a plea for help,” GlobalPost, April 26, 2010.

Shipping companies paid out over $1 Billion a year, according to a report by Forbes.

Source:  Christopher Helman, “The Profits Of Piracy,” Forbers, April 15, 2010.

In 2003, 65 percent of reported kidnappings took place in Latin America, with 19 percent of reports occurring in Asia.

In 2009, Latin America kidnappings fell to 37 percent, with kidnappings in Asia rising to 36 percent of all reported incidents.

Source:  Sean O”Neill, Adam Fresco, and Russell Jenkins, “Sahil Saeed ordeal exposes growth of homeland kidnap ‘trade’,” Times, March 22, 2010.

According to the newspaper The Times, 19 of the 25 cases of international kidnapping of British citizens reported to the Serious Organised Crime Agency in 2009 took place in Pakistan. The 19 kidnapping cases were an increase from the 10 cases reported in 2008.

Source: Sean OiNeill, Adam Fresco, and Russell Jenkins, “Sahil Saeed ordeal exposes growth of homeland kidnap ‘trade’,” Times, March 22, 2010.

In 2008, there were 50,138 formal complaints to law enforcement in Mexico regarding phone extortion. Callers would normally demand ransom payments in order to return the listener’s child unharmed when in fact they did not have the child in their possession.

Out of the 50,138 formal complaints, 4,587 people paid the amount demanded by the callers.

Source:  Tracy Wilkinson, “Telephoned abduction claims bedeviling Mexico,” Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2010.

Through November 2009, there were a reported 302 kidnappings reported in Phoenix, Arizona. The figure is slightly down from the 359 kidnappings reported in 2008.

Law enforcement officials in the state claim that the high number is related to drugs trafficking and human smuggling.

Source: Michael Ferraresi, “Phoenix cites slight decline in kidnappings in 2009,” Arizona Republic, January 11, 2010.