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.

Statistics released by security agencies in Mexico reported that there were 105,682 kidnappings that took place in the country in 2012.

However, only 1,317 were reported to federal security agencies during the year, resulting in 99 percent of kidnapping going unreported.

In 2012, the average amount of ransom paid out to kidnappers was $50,000, according to the Public Security ministry.

Source:  Roberto A. Ferdman, “99% of kidnappings in Mexico went unreported last year,” Quartz, October 3, 2013.

During the time span of 2007 to September 2013, the Institute of Public Safety reported that up to 35,000 people went missing in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Security analysts and human rights organizations claim that the numbers are vague and that corrupt police agencies in the city do not actively investigate the disappearances.

Source:  Julia Carneiro, “Amarildo: The disappearance that has rocked Rio,” BBC News, September 13, 2013.

Between January and June 2013, security agencies in Mexico recorded 757 reports of kidnappings. The number of kidnapping reported in the first half of 2013 was the highest ever recorded since records began being tracked in 1997. The record amount in the first half of 2013 follows a trend of increases, with the second highest reported rate being the first half of 2011, when 700 kidnapping recorded. In the first half of 2012, authorities officially recorded 688 kidnappings.

If the month of December 2012 is included to include the entire span of President Enrique Peña Nieto administration, then there were 878 reported kidnappings in Mexico.

Up to 30 percent of kidnappings victims in Mexico are killed by their captors.

Source: Marguerite Cawley, “Mexico Kidnappings Highest in 16 Years,” Insight Crime, September 16, 2013.


According to crisis management firm red24, there are over 1,000 cases of kidnapping for ransom that takes place in Nigeria each year.

It was previously reported that the average ransom paid out for the hostages was $50,000 in 2012. The kidnappers in Nigeria usually demand $500,000 as an opening figure.

(All kidnapping for ransom intelligence.)

Source:  “Proof of life: Behind the hostage industry,”, September 11, 2013.

According to data from 24 states in India, 58 percent of missing children in 2013 have not been found. 15,130 children have been reported missing, with 6,269 children being found.

The percentage of missing children who have not been found have been increasing in India over the last several years. In 2010, 30 percent of missing children have been untraceable. That number increased to 37 percent in 2011, and 41.5 percent in 2012.

Security officials in India believe that child traffickers are behind the kidnapping. Data shows that more girls are disappearing than boys, In the first 7 months of 2013, 63 percent of missing children who disappeared were girls.

In the capital of Delhi, there have been 2,887 children who were reported missing in the first 7 months of 2013. 832 children have been found and reunited with their families.

Source:  Chetan Chauhan, “One of 2 missing kids lost forever, trafficking on rise,” Hindustan Times, September 2, 2013.

In the first 6 months of 2013, criminal justice programs in Pakistan reported there were 74 kidnapping for ransom cases in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

In 2012, there were a total of 132 people who were kidnapped for ransom in the city.

The Pakistani Supreme Court conducted an investigation and found that many kidnapping gangs in the country has sources and connections with the police and financial industry. (More examples of police corruption here.)

A reported 25 percent of police officers are estimated to have either been directly involved in kidnapping or assist the kidnappers in some fashion.

Along with the police, domestic servants and other low level workers for successful families are invoked in tipping off kidnappers. These workers are generally paid between 5 to 10 percent of the ransom.

(Additional prices and earnings on the black market.)

Source:  Javed Mirza, “Kidnapping for ransom big business in Karachi,” The News, August 31, 2013.

According to media reports, the cost to hire a private hostage negotiator to negotiate a ransom payment with Somali kidnappers is roughly $2,000 per day. The fee does not include the negotiated ransom payment.

The fee was disclosed in an article about two individuals who were held hostage in Somali in 2008. The hostage takers originally demanded $3 Million in ransom to release the two individuals. After discussions with the private negotiator, the eventual ransom payment was $600,000.

(All security threats from kidnapping and ransom.)

Source:  Chris Purdy, “Canadian kidnap victim reveals details of ordeal,” Province, August 19, 2013.

Criminal justice programs in Colombia reported that 786 criminal gangs were broken up within the country in 2012. In addition to the actions against the organized crime groups, police and security services captured 242 drug traffickers and extradited 192 traffickers to foreign nations.

40 drug trafficking networks were also dismantled by police.

Police also reported on actions targeting microtrafficking, or street level drug dealing. Through their operations, government security agents seized 99,184 kilograms of cocaine, 132,182 tablets of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, and 292,220 kilograms of marijuana.

2,038 people who involved in kidnapping and ransom incidents were also arrested in 2012.

Source:  James Bargent, “Colombia Police Dismantle 100s of Gangs in 2012,” Insight Crime, June 21, 2013.

Between 1970 and 2010, there were at least 39,058 people who were kidnapped in Colombia, according to a study released in 2013. In the last year covered by the study, around 1,000 people were kidnapped in 2010.

Out of the total number of kidnappings, up to 301 people were kidnapped more than once, and one person was found to have been kidnapped 5 times.

8 percent of the kidnapping cases lead to a conviction.

Source:  Sibylla Brodzinsky, “Kidnapping in Colombia: The role of abductions in decades-long conflict,” Christian Science Monitor, June 21, 2013.

An article in the USA Today stated that there were up to 27,000 people who are missing or vanished in Mexico since the conflict over drug trafficking began in 2006. The article also mentions a Human Rights Report that found 249 cases of forced disappearance that was conducted with the use of security services in Mexico.

Source:  David Agren, “Mother’s Day in Mexico: Time to reflect on missing kids,” USA Today, May 10, 2013.