Lifestyle Social MAKATI, PHILIPPINES ABDUCTION

MAKATI, PHILIPPINES ABDUCTION

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A recent video of a girl being abducted in Makati has already gone viral and almost everyone has seen the horrifying scene of abduction. The video has already scared everyone in the city. Police has confirmed today that the girl was kidnapped by men on Monday night is a POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator) worker. She was seen to be forcibly taken into a van by Chinese looking men. She screamed her roommate’s name which explains that they were together when the incident happened. She was kidnapped on street Paseo de Roxas in Makati Central Business District by three Chinese looking men in gray colored KIA Carnival. The number plate of KIA Carnival noted by an eye witnessed was LSA-880 which actually belongs to a White Mitsubishi L-300. That means that the kidnappers were using fake number plate. She was living with a roommate named Chen Tangbin who happen to work at POGO and they both are Chinese National. Police traced the girls information and a place here she lives by the deed of sale dropped at sight of abduction. Chen Tangbin has already left the condo in which they both were living because the kidnappers were asking for ransom money in exchange of Mei’s liberty. The police is thoroughly checking the deed of sale in which they suspect that there was a tussle going on with Chinese men. The investigators mentioned that they have dealt with such situations in Philippines where the kidnapped person and kidnappers both are Chinese. So this can’t be an isolated incident. The police has advised the public to stay safe and vigilant as they expect that this could happen and anybody could be a victim to it. While police is making their every effort to make the city a place safer than ever, every individual must stay attentive and vigilant of their surrounding activity and inform the authorities about any suspicious activity. Police also advised to use Makatizen App.  

However, this incident was claimed to be an isolated one where the facts and statistics are entirely opposite to it. If we talk about abduction related to gambling debts, only 3 months back in August, same incident occurred in which 5 men kidnapped a Chinese. The risk analysis firm of Philippines said that 21 incidents of Chinese nationals have been abducted in relation to gambling debts in year 2019 which is 5 times more than the year 2017 and 2018. The overall kidnapping rate has rose significantly this year. Even in 2018, the overall kidnapping rate rose by 3% with 69 kidnapping including locals and foreigners as compared to 67 kidnappings in 2017. 

AN EPIDEMIC:

An abduction and captivity of a person to obtain a ransom or typically fulfilling their demand is called Kidnapping. Often kidnappers hold their victims for a longer period of time in order to obtain more money from the victim’s associates. This type of kidnapping is typically done by the professional and experienced kidnappers. Kidnappers have many root causes to choose kidnapping a source of income which is now become a global problem. The major causes for increasing kidnapping is unemployment, religion, poverty and politics. The government must get involved and they must address these causes to eliminate the outrageous misfortune from the world. Nevertheless, these causes can never justify the act of abduction and ransom. It can never be a justifiable source of survival. Since this epidemic of kidnapping is globalized, the governments of almost all the countries are working extremely hard to eliminate the causes of kidnapping and bring the perpetrators to justice. Kidnapping has nothing to do with rich or poor countries and developed or underdeveloped countries. People opting kidnapping a source of survival are not even happily willing to do so but only because of their poverty. This is one of the major reason that kidnapping is spreading like a fire in the woods from America to Africa, Europe to Asia and in almost every country. 

The increasing rate of kidnapping are attracting global attention specifically in continents like North America, South America and Europe. The kidnapping starts from a group of 2 to 3 people but since it brings a significant amount of profit, the number of kidnappers increase and thus they form a gang who makes it their source of survival and a business model. Speaking of increasing rate of kidnapping, Mexico tops the kidnapping rate among any other country. In 2012, the estimated kidnapping Mexico suffered was 105,682 where in year 2013, the number climbed to 131,946. On the other hand, some kidnapping stories are found very strange and makes very little sense. A mother of seven children kidnapped her own daughter with her accomplice who was her relative. She made this kidnapping public and informed into UK’s police department. She faked the kidnapping of her own daughter so that she could claim the reward of 50,000 pounds from UK’s government. The government found the truth and the mother was jailed for 8 years. She got released from jail after serving 4 years and she was known to be the most hated mother of all times. 

TYPES OF KIDNAPPING:

Basic Kidnapping: This type of kidnapping is the most common among kidnappers since it the easiest way to kidnap and this is the first stage for new kidnappers. This does not require any special preparation or thorough research about to kidnap and it is easy to conduct. Moreover this type of kidnapping can be easily be accomplished in almost any part of the world with relatively low risk of failure. Their easiest target are the “Well Off” people such as local businessmen and highly paid employer’s families who does not have enough resources to spend on security measures but they have enough money to fulfil their luxury. Basic Kidnapping does not last longer than 2 to 3 days because the amount of ransom requested is not too high and relatively easier for the family to pay. Thus the police does not get informed about the case, kidnappers receive their ransom and deliver the victim back to the family. 

High Net-Worth Individual Kidnapping: This is comparatively a difficult type of kidnapping. However, the kidnappers have to be relatively experienced and they play their part with a lot of patience. They study their target for weeks before conducting the actual abduction. The kidnappers notice every movement of the target from dusk till dawn. The daily routine of the target, where they work, their friends, vehicle, office, place of exercise and everything. Then a day comes when the kidnappers abduct the target and this activity takes longer than the basic kidnapping. Since the associates are quite wealthy, it takes a great deal of time to negotiate the ransom demand. After the abduction, kidnappers contact the family members and associates and inform them about the abduction and request for quite significant amount of ransom money. Since this type of kidnapping is conducted by quite experienced kidnappers, the victims are normally delivered safely once the ransom money is received. This type of kidnapping is decreasing with time because these High Net-Worth families become security conscious easily so even the experience kidnappers can face the trouble of being caught if security agencies or detectives are informed about the abduction. 

Tiger Kidnapping: It could also be called as “Crime within a crime”. This kidnapping is used to involve a victim to commit a crime on behalf of the actual criminals. This benefits the actual criminals to stay hidden and get their objective complete by the victim. The targets are often people placed with bigger responsibilities like a Bank’s Vault Manager, a person who has the access to a room full of secrets, a curator of a valuable art gallery or jewelry shop, etc. If the criminals has a truck fitted with a bomb and they want it to be exploded in a market full of public but the market is monitored with security cameras, tiger kidnapping can be useful. The victim will be given the task to drive the truck and park in a parking lot of a market and leave and the actual criminals will explode the bomb. Thus, even if any security camera captures the man leaving the truck, they would only trace the man who was a victim of tiger kidnapping. So, a target kidnapped and compelled to commit a crime and fulfil their objective is called tiger kidnapping. This practice is now increasing specially in developed countries like US, UK and many others in Europe to escape the detection and trace. 

Express Kidnapping: This type of kidnapping is real quick and often violent in nature. The kidnapping hardly lasts longer than 1 night and not more. It is a method of abduction in which a very limited but maximum possible amount is demanded as ransom. This also involves an instant assault to create panic so that the victim response quickly. The victim is then releases on the spot once the ransom demand is fulfilled. This type of kidnapping is normally conducted in urban areas where there are ATMs and people are comparatively wealthy. The abductors mostly organize the crime in Taxi and hot location for them is Airport, Night club or bars and ATMs. Since the world has gone digitalized and almost every monetary transaction is being done on cell phones, express kidnapping has become easier and more profitable. The Taxi picks up the target and after few block pick random strangers who are actually involved with Taxi drivers and they kidnap the target. The target is then taken to ATM to withdraw the maximum amount allowed to him. If the limit quite less than required, the target is often kept overnight to gain the maximum out of ATM card. The bitcoins are forcefully transacted and all the valuable items like a gold watch are taken from him. The target is released just after the demand is fulfilled to their maximum capacity. 

Virtual Kidnapping: This kidnapping is just a scam and fraud but not a physical kidnapping. It is a game played well with families, employers or associates to gain a quick and modest ransom which can easily be paid. This type of kidnapping is increasing in places like Latin America, Columbia and Mexico. This requires intelligence where the victim who is actually said to be kidnapped does not know anything and the family, employer or associates pay the ransom to release their loved ones. It all happens with phone calls and signals. If a person enters into an area of no signal, the criminals will call their family or associates and create panic and would ask for a quick ransom transfer to get their associate released. In such cases, the demands are so moderate that are easy to bear and the demands get fulfilled. When that same person leaves that area of “no signal”, he gets the call from his family and the truth gets out. In many cases, the perpetrator calls someone and pretends to be a call center agent. A perpetrator requests the man to switch off the cell phone for network update or for any convincing reason. After the man switches off his cell phone, the perpetrator conduct their virtual kidnapping activity and demand ransom. Virtual Kidnapping is merely a fraud and has nothing to do with reality. 

Political Kidnapping: As the type explains itself, such kidnappings has a political background and political reason behind. Such kidnappings are conducted when ransom demand has no more effect. The reasons differ from region to region for a political kidnapping. The targets are mostly related to political families or politicians or politicians themselves. If a militant group has their members arrested in jail, that militant group would kidnap the authoritative political personnel or his loved one to demand the release of their members. A politician would be kidnapped from a team of politicians who are about to publicize their decision on a very serious matter but the demands of perpetrators would influence their decision and force them to stop or change. 

Bride Kidnapping: It is a mind-boggling ancient custom and still sounds like a nightmare. However it still happens in countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Chechnya, Ethiopia, Armenia, Moldova and South Africa. It is a forced form of marriage in which a girl is abducted regardless of her age and is forced to marry a man. It doesn’t matter to them if they know each other or not. If a girl refuses or does not compel to the group’s decision, there are very strong chances that she has to face violence. Since in many regions, loss of virginity is critically judged by the community, the bride is forcefully raped by the man so that she may stay with him and become his wife. 

EFFECTS OF KIDNAPPING:

Kidnapping is not any usual that we talk about or think about in our everyday life and any unusual thing or unusual situation tends to gain attention. The consequences faced by the survivors of kidnapping often includes a physiological effects but the psychological effects are always there. Kidnapping is an act that abruptly changes the life of a survivor and they might never get the sense of relief and elation that comes from freedom. Following the physiological and psychological effects of kidnapping.

Physiological Effect: Kidnapping is an act of force. During abduction, the victims are forcefully taken into a vehicle because they also react with force. The kidnappers often hit the victim on head, put a firm hand on victim’s mouth to keep their mouth shut. During the effort to escape, the victims moves their arms and legs abruptly and the often get hurt and wounded. Once the kidnappers execute their plan of kidnapping, their only objective is to abduct quickly and run away regardless of any situation. This is the reason that some kidnappers use violence to disarm the victim. During ransom demand, the kidnappers develop a fear in the victim’s family or associates and warn them that the victim will be hurt if they try to act smartly. The kidnappers deliberately hurt the victim and let their families hear the screams so they may hurry the ransom process. In many kidnapping cases, the victim was delivered with damaged limbs, fingers cut, sexually abused and bleeding wounds. 

Psychological Effects: The survivors develop the emotions of shock, numbness, anger and sense of helplessness. If any adversity happens during the time of abduction, they also develop a long term anxiety and depression. The sense of guilt and shame is developed due to which the survivors start avoiding the interaction with families, friends and relative. They are overwhelmed with sense of helplessness and prefers to stay isolated. For most of the time, they dive into their horrifying thoughts of abduction and violence. This causes decreases concentration and focus, overthinking and over cautiousness, disturbed memory of events and develop a credible fear of everyone. These are understandable and normal reactions to an extremely stressful event. The reaction may vary from individual to individual and these reaction are decreases with a period of time. 

The survivors may feel that they are lost and find difficulty in managing their extreme reactions. They may require some help to recover from the horrific abduction to a normal life. Research tells us that positive growth of a person has higher chances to recover quickly. We must know that human could be very much resilient and have a strong perseverance regardless how harsh the tragedy was. When the hostages are released, it is important to get them a medical attention. They must be kept in safe and sound environment. They should be taken well care of and create a secure environment. The survivors must receive the sense of security to stay calm. They must be connected with their loved ones and friends who actually care for the survivor. A psychiatrist is proved to be the best counselor for survivors. With the passage of enough time and if the survivor has recovered enough, we must talk to them and listen to their story. This builds a significant confidence in survivor and helps them fighting past thoughts of terrible situations.

HOW TO AVOID KIDNAPPING:

The threat of kidnapping is real all over the world especially to the people with high wealth and power. It is very easy and important to analyze the potential of being kidnapped. The kidnappers always kidnap because they want something that you may have in excess or very valuable. If you are carrying such things or your recent past reflects a potential threat of being kidnapped, you must follow some precautionary measure before leaving you home. You must stay vigilant of your surroundings. Verify the identities of all the associates and contact before conducting your next move. Most of the kidnappings take place in a car or on the streets. 

CARS: If you’re planning to drive a car, always take a walk around it and look inside to see if someone is already inside. When walking around the car, take a look at distant people to see if someone is constantly noticing you. The moment you get into the car, close all the doors and keep all the windows up. Try to opt a route with less traffic and signals. Use mirrors all the time to see if any vehicle is constantly following you. If you suspect that a vehicle is following you, try to reach the nearest round-about and give 3 rounds of it. If that vehicle hasn’t taken an exit on first round and still behind you, the car is actually following and it’s time to inform the police. If you are standing of a red signal and you find some suspicious people approaching your car, run the signal and save yourself. Try to stay away from trucks and vans because most abductions take place in van or trucks. In case of parking, choose a brightly lightened and rush area. The kidnappers chose an opposite situation to kidnap. If you are being dropped to your home or you are driving someone to their place, one must stay in the car until the other one enters their home. 

STREETS: If you’re on the street with potential of being kidnapped, you must keep someone informed about all your whereabouts, who you are going with, where you are going and when will you return. Keep informing the person about your current situation every 5 mins or you may stay on call until you reach your destination. Stay alert of the surroundings and avoid using any earphones. Try to stay in well populated area or seek a populated area if you see someone following you. Since kidnappers take a thorough look on your apparels and daily routine, a significant change in your routine lifestyle would help creating a distraction. Stay low profile, and try not to wear something that creates difficulty in an effort to run. Try to avoid taking public stairs to cross the road, ATMs and toilets. Even if you are taking an elevator, try to enter a crowded elevator and stay close to the emergency button. 

SURVIVORS OF KIDNAPPING:

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: Today he is in everyone’s top 5 favorite actors list but it is very rare that people know how he along with his 2 friends were lucky to be left alive back in 2005. Benedict with his 2 friends were changing a flat tire where they were surprised by six gunmen. They did not only demanded money, they abducted all of them and took them to a remote areas. Cumberbatch and company were just a tourist and they thought that they are left with their last moments. They were just lucky to be thrown on ground and left alive. A terrific thought of dying crossed the mind of a superstar. However, the kidnapping situation was not so worse as to create any psychological effect. THOMAS WALLER: Kidnapping story of Jazz Icon is as strange as it could be. Thomas Waller could never have imagined that he would be kidnapped to become a birthday present. His talent caught the attention of everyone in the world. Waller played a night in Sherman Hotel in 1926, after which he was kidnapped and escorted to a Limousine on a gun point. He thought that would die that night. Surprisingly, he was pushed towards a piano in a Saloon and was told to play his best. When his music met the applauses, he happened to see the loudest applause from a notorious gangster “Al Capone”. This abduction was done to celebrate the birthday of Al Capone. After three days, Waller found some thousands of dollars in his pockets as a tip from them.

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