According to a recent article in The Australian, kidnapping as a new business venture is on the rise with 30-40,000 kidnappings estimated worldwide. There was a similar article in the Financial Times late last month. Depressing.
The business of kidnapping
By Joe Kelly, The Australian, February 17, 2010
John Chase is an expert in kidnap and ransom cases. The 48-year-old comes from an intelligence background, has more than 17 years' experience and is the managing director of crisis response at AKE group, which specialises in preparing people to enter some of the most hostile places on the planet. [...]Tales of the hostage negotiators
"There has to be a point where government's go to the families and say to those people very honestly, 'Look, we as governments cannot help you, but if you hire one of these internationally recognised companies you may be able to secure the release of your loved ones.' The hostages just went through such trauma in those first 339 days. It's not right."
As well as ransoms, insurance policies also cover psychological counselling for victims and families, media consultancy on reputation risk and the salary of replacement workers.