The US Department of State recently updated their threat and warning system to include countries where kidnapping for ransom is a significant issue. The list of 35 countries includes several countries where corporations regularly travel including: Mexico, Turkey, Philippines, Russia, and Ukraine. I must also add that almost every country in Africa is on the list. The Department of State has also updated warnings for India and the whole of Central and South America.
Small business and corporations alike often fail to provide their employees with travel awareness training, and certainly do not provide their employees with Anti Kidnapping and Hostage Survival Training. As security professionals who has been involved in a lot of overseas recovery work, we know that many companies and NGOs do not have Kidnap for Ransom or Crisis Insurance. We know that many of these same companies have had individuals kidnapped for ransom, extorted, or have found themselves in the middle of terrorist events. An official from the US Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell made a statement recently. “I cannot recall a week in the past five years where we have not had an American kidnapped abroad.” Sadly we can vouch for his statement.
Untrained business travelers routinely make the same mistakes which allow criminals, opportunists, and terrorists opportunities to kidnap, extort, exploit, and victimize what are often a company’s key leadership or best employees. These events lead to a significant loss for the corporation, the family, and the employee. These losses are often in the millions of dollars and can compound exponentially from litigation if the company was negligent. Captive Audience Prevention Training and Recovery Team provides training to corporations in travel planning and safety and anti kidnapping and hostage survival. We can tailor our training packages to meet the requirements of each client and the threats they are likely to face based on geography, politics, type of work, and other considerations. We can provide half-day, full-day, and multi-day seminars based on the client’s needs. While we cannot prevent every incident, we can help significantly reduce the risk to employees who travel overseas and help make it easier to bring them home if they are kidnapped. Our courses will also provide the client with the ability to better manage a kidnapping for ransom, extortion, or terrorist incident. Our answer is not to sell security guards, alarms, or gadgets. Our answer is to arm the individual traveler and corporation with the knowledge and skill sets to allow them to travel safely. There is a place for security guards, alarms, and gadgets but there is truly no substitute for personal knowledge and situational awareness.
Industry rarely provides their employees with hands-on training in travel safety and security. We at Captive Audience Prevention Training and Recovery Team have seen many of the 1-4 page travel safety briefings that insurance companies and corporations provide to their employees. It has been our experience that business travelers often gloss over the briefing without having read it then sign their name to it to get their supervisor off their back. Our colleagues in the executive protection industry regularly tell us that the executives whom they protect make horrible decisions, which puts everyone’s life in danger. Our solution is to provide individuals, businesses, and industries with hands-on, in-person travel safety and security training. We also recommend annual online refresher training. Training business travelers in the basics of travel safety and personal security reduces risk and saves money in the long run. Training business travelers in what to do and how to survive if they are kidnapped also mitigates risk and saves money, should an incident go to litigation.
Our mission is not to make people paranoid but to make sure they live with their eyes wide open. To that end, we are offering an introductory level Anti Kidnaping and Hostage Survival class on June 20-22 in the northeast. Here is the LINK for information and registration. We sincerely hope to meet you, to have the opportunity to serve you, and to see you there.