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Keeping abreast of the latest developments in Critical Risk help Schillings stay ahead of the perpetrators.

10 things you need to know this month

10 things you need to know this month

  • 01. Two Canadian aid workers with Toronto-based NGO ‘Youth Challenge International’, were kidnapped on 4 June outside their apartment in Kumasi, Ghana. They were rescued by security forces after eight days. There were no details of a ransom demand. Five Ghanaians and three Nigerians were arrested.
  • 02. Police in Norway investigating the disappearance of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen, wife of billionaire Tom Hagen, in October 2018 announced on 26 June that they suspect she was killed, with the murder made to look like a kidnapping. The ‘kidnappers’ did not confirm she was being held, or that she was still alive. The lead investigator said the lack of a desire to ‘bank the ransom’ was another key factor.
  • 03. In July, Europol marked the third anniversary of the ‘No More Ransom’ initiative. Since its launch in July 2016, it reports that it has registered 3 million visitors from 188 countries, and prevented US$108 million in ransom payments. The portal has a total of 109 decryptor tools available.
  • 04. Islamic State’s West Africa branch claimed responsibility for kidnapping six Nigerian aid workers near Damasak in the northeast of the country. International aid agency Action Against Hunger said that the six had appeared in a video released by the kidnappers on 24 July.
  • 05. On 26 July Nigerian police confirmed the rescue of four Turkish nationals who had been kidnapped from a bar in central Kwara State. No ransom was paid and three male suspects were arrested. Ten Turkish nationals kidnapped on 13 July were released on 9 August.
  • 06. Eurofins, Britain’s largest private forensics provider, was targeted in a ransomware attack on 2 June. Eurofins carries out DNA testing, toxicology analysis, firearms testing and computer forensics for UK police forces. It did not disclose whether a ransom was paid.
  • 07. Criminal gang, Las Pelonas, are believed to be behind a rise in kidnaps and murders targeting wealthy students in Mexico City. On 4 June, Norberto Ronquillo was kidnapped and despite paying a US$260,000 demand, it is believed he was murdered after his abduction.
  • 08. In June, Cifas, the UK’s ‘leading fraud prevention service’, published its annual ‘Fraudscape’ report which identifies key trends in fraudulent activity. It states that identity fraud increased 8% in 2018. Those particularly vulnerable are the under 21s and the over-60s.
  • 09. The Philippine National Police AntiKidnapping Group (AKG) reports an increase in kidnap-for-ransom cases involving Chinese nationals. In June they reported that in the first half of 2019, six Chinese nationals were kidnapped. The incidents come amid an increase in Chinese tourists and workers, many employed in online gaming firms, visiting the Philippines.
  • 10. Police in the northwest Nigerian city of Kano rescued Musa Umar, an in-law of President Musa Buhari on 1 July. Umar was freed after a gunfight with his abductors. The kidnappers wanted US$30 million for Umar who had been held since 2 May.

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