econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 01 September 2016

Lessons From A Bangalore Kidnapping

from STRATFOR

India is consistently ranked among the countries with the highest kidnapping risk, a lesson Ishaan Bapat learned firsthand. On his way home from his private university in Bangalore on Aug. 23, the 19-year-old was grabbed by two men and bundled into a car while waiting for a bus at a cafe. Bapat usually made the 19-kilometers (12-mile) commute by motorbike, but because his bike was in the shop, he took a bus and decided to grab a bite to eat during a transfer. Within a few hours of abducting him, Bapat's kidnappers used his phone to contact his parents.

Despite the assailants' warnings, Bapat's parents opted to call the police, who responded quickly and comprehensively, dispatching 30 officers across the city to look for him. By 9 the next morning, Bapat's kidnappers had dropped him off about 8 kilometers from his residence in central Bangalore, leaving him to catch a cab home.

Though it ended better than most, Bapat's story is all too familiar in India, which has a reported kidnapping rate of 6.6 per 100,000 people (a figure that could well be higher since kidnappings often go unreported). But his case provides a useful study in kidnapping - and how to avoid it.

Making a Kidnapping

In a kidnapping, a victim's socio-economic privilege can be a double-edged sword. Bapat is a student at a private college that charges an annual tuition well above the yearly income of an average Indian family. His father is an executive at an electronics firm in the area with reported revenues of $80 million in 2015. Though these factors likely influenced the robust police response to Bapat's kidnapping, they may also have made him more susceptible to attack in the first place. Police have not yet determined the intent behind the kidnapping, but they suspect that the crime was financially motivated. Given the status of Bapat's father, investigators are exploring personal or business rivalries as possible motives as well. These kinds of kidnappings are fairly common in India and often ensnare targets' family members.

Adjusting one's personal routine can often help to thwart attacks. In Bapat's case, however, taking a different route - by way of a different mode of transportation - may have increased his risk of kidnapping. Compared with the motorbike he typically rode to and from campus, a bus made him more vulnerable to attack, especially during transfers. Moreover, because the employees of the repair shop where Bapat took his motorbike would have known that he was without his normal means of transportation, they could have staged the operation or abetted its perpetrators. Such painstaking orchestration would not be unusual in India. In February, for instance, a man with a long criminal record pulled off an elaborate plan, which he had spent months concocting, to abduct and then rescue a female e-commerce executive in Ghaziabad, near New Delhi. After his arrest, the suspect told police that he had been inspired by the plot of a popular Bollywood movie. In investigating Bapat's kidnapping, police will probably scrutinize the repair shop to determine whether its staff was involved.

Less Experience, Greater Risk

Nonetheless, the evidence so far suggests that Bapat was more likely the victim of an opportunistic kidnapping conducted by amateurs. Since Bapat was taking an unusual route home, he may not have been familiar with the cafe he patronized on the way home or its clientele. His clothing, accessories or speech pattern could have given him away as a man of some means to local thugs looking for an easy target. His attackers may have decided to strike just in the time it took him to place his order; after all, the pre-operational surveillance phase of the criminal attack cycle can sometimes take only a matter of seconds.

Once they had their victim, the kidnappers revealed their inexperience. Amateur kidnappers typically devote more planning to taking the victim than to leveraging him or her for ransom. Calling the family from the victim's phone within a few hours of his abduction suggests that neophytes carried out the operation with little forethought. More experienced criminals would have secured and concealed Bapat's location before starting the negotiations for his release. In fact, professional kidnappers often postpone contacting family members to increase their anxiety and make them more inclined to meet ransom demands. A professional gang also would not have been so easily put off by police pursuit, having considered that risk ahead of time.

Though Bapat's experience must have been harrowing, he was relatively lucky. Botched kidnappings do not always end as well as his did, especially when conducted by amateurs. In a high-stress situation, such as a kidnapping-for-ransom operation, assailants' behavior can be difficult to assess or anticipate. The day before Bapat's nabbing in Bangalore, for example, a kidnapper near Agra abducted his friend in a ploy to collect a ransom to pay off business debts. As the plot unraveled, the kidnapper strangled his friend and tried to hide the body to escape arrest (but police eventually caught up with him). In many ways, dealing with professional kidnappers is preferable, since they typically stick to carefully considered plans, avoid risks and follow more predictable practices.

Avoiding Abduction

Despite the high incidence of kidnappings in India, it is possible to mitigate the risk of abduction. Identifying choke points and other areas of vulnerability in one's daily routines can help focus attention on surveillance and other unusual activity or flag places to avoid altogether. Still, as Bapat's case illustrates, deviating from routine entails its own dangers, exposing people to unfamiliar areas and unknown threats. Furthermore, though varying daily habits can be an effective deterrent against advanced, professional plots, it is less effective against opportunistic threats. For that reason, it is important, as always, to maintain situational awareness. Hostile surveillance can take many forms, from a suspicious person parked across the street to a group of youths watching intently by the snack stand. Each is equally important to detect and act upon if necessary.

Finally, keeping friends and family apprised of any threats that could also involve them can help avoid situations such as the one Bapat endured. Especially in a place like India, where business disputes or debts can escalate to criminal abduction, it is important to recognize when a bad business deal might jeopardize the safety of extended family. In addition, families that enjoy higher living standards should be mindful that certain behaviors - for instance, sending their children to private schools or driving nice cars - may attract the interest of kidnappers or other criminals looking for cash.

"Lessons From a Bangalore Kidnapping" is republished with permission of Stratfor.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Are You Feeling the Economic Surge?
Big Mess in Italy
News Blog
Big Mac Index In Its 30th Year
What We Read Today 03 December 2016
Scientists Find Giant Underground Ice Reserve On Mars
Sustained 3 To 4% GDP Growth Is A Huge Stretch
New Earthquake Risk Model Confirms Possibility Of Statewide Earthquake In California
Subprime Auto Debt Grows Despite Rising Delinquencies
Silver Sentiment Looks Golden
Infographic Of The Day: Investing In A Cure For Cancer
Early Headlines: Trump Campaigning Still, WaPo Finds Voter Fraud Favored Trump, No Carolina GOP Shotguns For Voter Fraud, New Age Of Blacklisting, All Eyes On Italy, Big Bucks In India And More
What Did The EU Ever Do For Europeans?
The 10 Most Stolen Cars In America
Improvements In US Air Pollution
Has The Fed Been Effective In Stimulating Consumption?
Investing Blog
Technical Thoughts: Manage Risk
Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 02 December 2016
Opinion Blog
Modern Slavery
Please, Donald Trump, Don't Send Climate Science Back To The Pre-Satellite Era
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
02Dec2016 Market Close: WTI Crude Climbed Back Up To Previous 51 Handle, US Dollar Index Trading At The100 Level, Oil Rig Count At 10-Month High
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved