WHAT IS KIDNAP FOR RANSOM?
The unlawful taking and carrying away of a person by force or fraud or against his will, or in any manner depriving him of his liberty for the purpose of extorting ransom as payment for his/her release.
PENALTY FOR KIDNAP-FOR RANSOM
The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person even if none of the circumstances of the above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense
When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.
WHO ARE THE USUAL VICTIMS
Though most of the victims belong to families in the upper income bracket, kidnappers also consider the following important factors in the selection of a potential target:
- Capacity to pay huge ransom (e.g. Involved in business transactions, import/export manifests, real estate transactions, always hosting big celebrations where many guests are invited; obviously rich lifestyle)
- Ability to pay fast
- Refusal to cooperate with the authorities
- Not well-connected with police authorities.
MODUS OPERANDI OF KIDNAPPERS
KIDNAP-FOR RANSOM GROUPS (KFRGs) scout for a potential victim through an informer or spotter whose work is to locate targets for the group. To facilitate the operation, a gang member is sometimes made to seek employment such as drivers or household help, to gain access and control of the victim.
KFRGs conduct thorough study of the background of the would-be victim, such as, capacity to pay and daily movements/activities. Surveillance to establish route is extensively carried out.
Execution of their plan at an opportune time. In coordination with their “inside man”, the group snatches their victim in a manner that would not catch attention or suspicion from the public.
CITIZENS PARTICIPATION IS CRUCIAL
The citizens’ participation is very important and crucial. The families and relatives of kidnap victims should report the kidnapping incident to the police immediately and extend their utmost cooperation for the early resolution of the incident and the effective prosecution of the suspects.
PROTECT YOURSELF AT HOME AND AT WORK:
- Avoid routine.
- Appoint a Security Officer within the family.
- Screen and choose house help/office workers.
- Instruct house help/office staff not to volunteer information.
- Avoid conspicuous and luxurious lifestyle.
- Avoid personal ads.
- Activate your current location settings in your phone.
- Discard documents properly.
- Secure your home. Install CCTV camera.
- Never open doors or gates to strangers.
- Keep emergency numbers beside your phone.
- Keep lights on outside the gate at night.
- Warn children on talking to strangers.
- Beware of strangers trying to befriend maids/guards.
- Exert effort to check house surroundings before leaving.
- Avoid fly-by-night service contractors
PROTECT YOURSELF ON THE STREETS:
- Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
- Fuel up in the daytime.
- Do not change a flat tire in a dark and isolated area especially at night.
- Do not expose your valuables inside your car.
- Avoid posting your whereabouts on social media in real time.
- Observe surroundings before boarding your car.
- Do not park your vehicle in unattended lots.
- Do not immediately alight from your vehicle if bumped from behind.
- Never go out of your car if accosted by “enforcers”.
- Be aware of vehicles following you and take note of its description.
- Submit only to legitimate police checkpoints
- In a compromise situation: Try to get away, shout for help, Blow Horn/sound alarm and don’t open windows/doors.
- Familiarize routes.
- Avoid payroll transport.
- If threatened, attract attention.
PROTECT YOURSELF AT SCHOOL
- Conduct background check of anyone you intend to employ as domestic helper, driver and security guard.
- Teach your children not to talk to strangers or accept anything (toys, clothes, candies) from strangers, especially in school.
- Report to the school authorities/guards of any suspicious person.
- Teach your children of basic self defense.
- Give them the emergency numbers (police hotline)
- Children should be escorted from house to school by parents or authorized persons. If thru school bus, parents must have the contact numbers of bus driver or conductor.
- School officials should not to give out any information regarding children’s data to unauthorized persons.
- School must have a strict guidelines regarding persons authorized to pick-up your children.
- Children should not be allowed to leave any other person without prior authorization from parents.
- Parents must give ample time to their children