Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nigeria: Kidnapped Nurse, 43, Murdered After Payment of N1.5 Million

According to The Nigerian Bulletin, a 43-year-old nurse, who was allegedly abducted on December 10, ended in tragedy despite the fact that a ransom payment of N1.5 million (US$9,348) was paid three days after the woman was kidnapped.

COMMENT: The young woman's body was later found near the Okhuahe hill in Edo state. Injuries on her body have led the police to conclude that she may have been stabbed to death.

Although I have worked a number of ransom kidnapping cases over the years, most have involved wealthy persons or expats in developing countries.

That being said, my observations are that Nigerian kidnappers can be very erratic, particularly if they have consumed drugs and/or alcohol.

Considering that the kidnappers in this case demanded a relatively low sum of money victim in this case, one possibility is that the victim, once the ransom had been promptly paid, may have attempted escape. Another possibility is that the abductors were impaired and very likely may have killed the woman out of spite.

Generally speaking, I have two thoughts about ransom kidnapping. 

One is that many governments, who as a matter of policy, refuse to negotiate or make concessions to kidnappers where the motive is political, almost never, understandably, pay a ransom. Governments that do pay ransom, even on one occasion, almost invariably regret their decision, largely because multiple abductions of their citizens eventually take place.

Where the victim is targeted because of their ability to pay a specific ransom, the majority of negotiators often are able to negotiate "down" a ransom demand. The longer the negotiation takes, the more invested the kidnappers become in "making a deal," even if it is not at the original amount demanded.

I urge all likely targets of a ransom kidnapping to purchase "kidnap-ransom/extortion" insurance if they're budget can afford it, as most underwriters are linked with professionally experienced negotiating teams. One of the best companies on the planet is Control Risk Limited (http://www.controlrisks.com/Pages/Home).

For those who cannot afford KRE coverage or choose not to purchase insurance, I do have a list of providers who can be of assistance. Please contact me at: ed@sbrisksolutions.com.