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“Make Money with Kidnapping”

Posted June. 12, 2002 23:42,   


South America, which suffers economical difficulties, becomes ‘the paradise of kidnapping.”

The L.A. Times reported on 11th that there are an average of 1 or 2 kidnappings cases in the South American metropolitans such as Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and the kidnapping organizations are becoming industrialized.

The officially reported kidnapping cases to the Sao Paulo Police Department were 267 in last year. It has been increased dramatically compare to the 19 cases in 1999 due to the increase of unemployment rate and the decrease of the net income caused by last couple of years’ economical crisis.

The kidnapped people are usually business people, who can pay for the ransom money, and 80% of them are business people or bankers according to the Sao Paulo Police Department.

Since the kidnapping cases are increasing, the ransom is decreasing. The kidnappers demanded an average of 50,000 dollars or more in 1999; however, it was difficult to get 15,000 dollars or more in last year.

A kidnapping organization is working as a company with about 20 employees and it has a division of labor with 3 teams in it.

Although the kidnapping cases are increasing, the Police, which suffer 20% or more budget cut, almost cannot do anything about it. The Police advise to the family of the kidnapped people to pay the ransom and wait for their release rather than arresting the kidnappers.

The South American business people decided that it is difficult to get help from the Police and try to protect themselves. In last year, more than 15,000 bulletproof vehicles were sold in Sao Paulo, and the number of personal bodyguards was increased to 3,500 from 1,000 in 1999.

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com