Kidnapped 5 – Preparing To Go

Officially there have been over 200 reported Kidnappings in N in recent months and nobody had ever been killed. Bollocks, what about the ones the media did not know about? Like JR for instance.

I know this country well and I know how reality and the official line are always fucking poles apart. In February alone there were four people killed in one abduction. A fifth person snatched at the same time was later released but had sustained serious injuries. As it is, I know of three people who have failed to materialise after being kidnapped this year in the self same country. As it was there was no news of JRs abduction any where in the media. I wonder how the powers that be answer that little question.

Our research had established that the ransoms paid were quite a bit higher than the figures mentioned by O’Hara. Mind you, talking of O’Hara, there was still no news from him after 48 hours plus we had lost one signal from JRs positioning services. The good news was that the other had not moved. It was agreed that it was time to press ahead and that we should bite the bullet and go.

Cyclops had established that JR did indeed have what amounts to kidnap insurance. I spoke with a representative of that company. He sounded like a typical Nancy public school boy with fuck all experience of the dirty side of his business. I suspect he had never left his air conditioned office in the city for the rigours of hostage negotiation. He talked fluent jargon and got on my tits after a few minutes.

“So then Mr Platt what are you going to do to get JR released?”

He took a deep breath and launched into a speech that went like this

“Well, we will adopt a strategy in relationship to and in accordance with local enforcements agencies and other interested parties. In addition or crisis managements team will put in place our policy of support and counselling for the family of the hostage and will facilitate negations to ensure a successful resolution of the situation”

“What does that mean exactly?”

“Pardon”

“What does all that mean? What are you going to do in real terms?”

“Well, as I said we will…..”

“Mr Platt” I interrupted “I am not interested in job speak. Do you have a dedicated negotiator or representative in the area?”

“Not as such”

“you mean no then.”

“Well err yes I suppose you could say that”

“Are you sending one?

“Well not exactly, there are a couple of people we use locally, but they are freelance and held on retainers. A lot depends on where the incident takes place and who is available”

“I can understand that, but who do you use to secure the release of hostages”

“Well we never get involved directly with the release and the negotiation It depend on the circumstance and the company. The negotiator is usually a third party and we pay their fees. Its very tricky you see because we never pay ransoms as such. But we arrange for funds to be made available to negotiators who pay the fees as they see fit.”

“How much do you expect to pay?” I asked

“I cant possibly tell you that” He spluttered.

“Why not?”

“Well because its err well erm not done is it?”

“I don’t know Mr Platt you’re the insurance man you tell me” I said

There was silence for a few seconds.

“It is just not done” He said flatly and firmly.

Well that was as clear as mud. So, as I understand it the insurance people don’t pay a ransom. They pay a third party a fee plus out of pocket expenses for information or whatever they want to call it. The third party resolves the issue by paying the kidnappers.

I wanted to go on and ask Mr Platt if they would pay somebody other than their usual negotiators to locate JR and secure his release but decided against it as I did not know where he and O’Hara would fit together. I didn’t suspect any naughtiness on Mr Platts part at this point, but I just did not want to overplay my hand. I got the feeling my call was interrupting his fagging of the office junior, who was probably toasting crumpets or something very Tom Brown school dayish.

 

The good news was that Tom Cook had sorted flights and hotels plus everything was in place for visas for us and they would ready for collection. We would be able to go the next day. We were to be travelling as a scuba club to look at marine life and especially for large Manta Rays and turtles which nest along the coast line. To this end we had packed bits of Mickey Mouse diving paraphernalia such as gloves, regulators, masks and a few other bits and bobs. Nothing too expensive you understand, as we did not want and really good gear to be “confiscated” by those naughty little customs chappies. It’s an old African custom you know.

With out hotel reservations sorted it was time to go shopping on t’internet and to get some goodies sent to out hotel that I really did not want to take in my luggage. I had to hope that UPS or TNT or whoever were up to getting the stuff to us pdq. It is a lottery but there is fuck all choice in these circumstances.

Although we were all travelling together, only I was going to see O’Hara. I had no intention of announcing my arrival and wanted to keep that as a surprise and to see if it acted as a catalyst. Some of the team would baby sit me and he rest would keep his nibs under surveillance. I really wanted to see what O’Hara was up to. We would be on the ground for a day or so before we started looking for JR and trouble.

Time to kiss those tear filled Estonian eyes goodbye.

5 Responses to “Kidnapped 5 – Preparing To Go”

  1. Oh Norman…

    The sad eyes, the unfathomable plonkers…
    I don’t know how you do it.
    I am loving this, nonetheless, and look forward to seeing how you’re going to sort it all out, in your indomitable fashion!!!

    xx

  2. Brigitte says:

    In our case it took ages for the insurance people to get themselves sorted out. They never told us how much the release cost, but somewhere the sum of $150,000 was mentioned.

  3. John Humphries says:

    Having read your post and the comment from Brigitte, it seems that these insurance companies are not too hot. I have been insured with a company who apparently have a crisis management team. Their blurb reads well, but they have spelt my name wrong three times, which does not bode too well does it?

  4. The insurance companies ought to have you on their payroll.

  5. Uncle says:

    Minx – That goodbye really made me realise what as what. It had to be done but I don’t intend to do anymore.

    Brigitte – I am not sure why some companies are so slow. The amounts seem to vary wildly from about $25K to $400K.

    JH – There are good companies and I have had dealings with some very top notch negotiators. Email me the details and I will be able to tell you whether you are with a king or a clown.

    GB- In light of my post I am not sure if that’s a compliment or not. I have done insurance work in the past and only where extraction and rescue have featured. Rescue is a very risky business especially for the hostage. Negotiation is a very different kettle of fish and requires skills I know I dont have. Besides, it is too much time away and too many mosquitoe bites for my liking

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