Kidnapped 4 – Immediate Response

Having put the phone down to O’Hara, I was spitting bullets. I had more than just a few questions and these made me feel very uneasy as to how this thing was going to end. For starters, If JR was alone how did O’Hara know how many men had snatched him? How did he know he had been taken by boat and so on and so forth, why was he so het up about the kidnap insurance. I had bad vibes about this geezer and I just could not trust him. Never ignore that initial gut feeling.

However those feeling and misgivings would have to wait, I needed to get a few practical things sorted pdq. Time is not on your side and you just cannot do everything yourself. You need to get a team together quickly. A response is not just the blokes on the ground, but the support team back at home. Somebody needs to make travel arrangements, someone else needs to do background research and monitor developments and then there is the need to communicate all relevant information as it becomes available. For the whole thing to work you need to have someone who will think on his feet remain detached and calm and who you can trust implicitly. This man will assume operational control and become office manager. I use Cyclops.

Cyclops is an ex Royal Marine called Andy. He joined the Police after leaving the services and became a detective. Unfortunately, he lost an eye in a car accident and was medically retired – hence the snappy nickname. Cyclops has both military and civilian police experience and shed loads of savey. He also has and very good way with people and has an eye for the ladies. Importantly he is used to the administration that goes with running an operation or investigation. Just what I need.
I rang Cyclops and explained the situation. He and JR were Green Death together and go back a long time. He did not need asking twice. He got stuck into ringing round to see just who was available for a quick trip away to somewhere exotic and hot. If we cannot get a good team together there was fuck all point in going. We needed blokes with African experience and who were well up to the environment we were headed into as much as the task we were undertaking. Its horses for courses, there are some top lads available, but if they sun burn easily or cant stand the high temperatures they would be as useful as a chocolate tea pot.
No2 on my list of things to do was to see if JR, was carrying any tracking devices. There are a variety of devices available which either use GPS via mobile phones or satellite tracking.I checked through my records and found that indeed JR did have a mobile phone tracking service and a worldwide sat tracker. The question now was did he still have them with him and had he activated the sat track? Of course he was going to be searched by his abductors and they would half inch his dog and bone. The sat tracker though would confuse them – I hoped and they would not know what it was. To look at it looks a bit like a pager or bleeper and has three buttons. The chances are that the kidnappers would trash this if they found it or just thow it away, but at least it would give us a lead as to where to look. Of course good old O’Hara had told us that JR had been taken by boat so that would have given us a starter.

The sat trackers work with a variety of mapping services. In this case JR’s service used an online mapping service and eventually we got a location. How accurate that was would remained to be seen but it was a start. Of course the naughty little tykes might just move him, although I doubted it. Anyway, from what I could see, it would seem about 4 miles along the river from where JR was snatched and near to a little village. However bearing in mind the yucky nature of the terrain in that neck of woods I did not expect to amble up and just find the camp signposted.

My next job was to see if our “Tom Cook” or travel man could sort us flights and visas and stuff at such short notice. It was a quick call and I gave him a rough cover story we would use. In a lot of cases we would arrive at different times from different locations if possible, but in this case our cover story would enable us to arrive together. He said he didn’t think there would be a problem and that he should be able to have everything in place in 3 days max, but he would ring me first thing in the morning for names and other details.

Cyclops rang me back after about an hour or so. We had a team. He ran through the names and we had eight really sound blokes and it was very much a first team. We have all known each other a long time. We have all been held at some time and so all had a sense of what was involved in getting JR back safe and sound. My experience in Z of course was is till fairly fresh in my mind.
Next thing to think about was kit and how we were going to deal with this matter. Time to sit an contemplate in the only room one can shit and contemplate such big jobs. The kidnappers used to be a ramshackle bunch of bone heads armed with clubs and machettes. Now they are fairly well organised and would be well armed no doubt with the good old AK47. In Africa using an AK47 is childs play.
So how were we going to do this and what were we going to use. One has to be discreet, especially in our line of work! One tends to find officials are a might touchy about nine blokes turning up anywhere let alone an African country with suitcases full of guns and grenades. Simon Mann and his chaps who are currently held in Zimbabwe know all about that. Of course, there are ways of acquiring fire power locally, but the more people you speak to the better the chances of attracting unwarranted attention. However there is more than one way to skin a cat and I had a rough idea as to how to deal with this problem.
Although a little late in the day, it was time to head to my storage facility in Wandsworth to see what Uncle Norman had that might just be handy.

6 Responses to “Kidnapped 4 – Immediate Response”

  1. Oh I do hope you’ve got some big toys in your storage facility Norman!
    I rather think you do…

    I didn’t trust that little hairball O’Hara from the start…
    very dodgy..
    I can’t wait for the next installment!!!!

  2. Brigitte says:

    My brother was held for three weeks on Bonny Island about six months ago. He too was kidnapped at the scene of an “accident” just like your man. He was very badly treated, I do hope it works out.

  3. John Humphries says:

    I dont suppose you would be thinking of taking the hose pipes?

  4. dl says:

    I’m guessing the kidnappers got a bloody nose out of this one. Westerners in West Africa must be seen as easy money. But they wouldn’t be reckoning on having to deal with UN.

    Like Minx, I can’t wait…

  5. Sally Lomax says:

    You certainly do everything in style Norm! Never a dull moment…

  6. Uncle says:

    Hello everyone. Sorry I have not been on the ball with the comments but I have been busy.

    Minx- too true. Dodgy as a cart load of monkeys!

    Brigitte- I hope your brother is OK now. It can take a long time for people to get over their experience. I have the details of some people he could talk to if needs be.

    JH – No hoses on this trip but….

    DL – Foreign workers are easy oney and with the way the money is being paid out it is not a shock that kidnapping are on an increase. The companies and government say their policy is working because nobody is killed. Yeah right.

    Sally – Not sure about the style bit. I know people who regard my methods as a little “odd” at times. Better odd than dead I feel.

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