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Mexico tops world rankings for most kidnappings


Mexico City : Mexico has become the world’s No. 1 country for kidnappings with more than 8,000 abductions reported every year, a report said.

The figure, however, does not include the so-called “express” kidnappings, a form of abduction where the victim is released after a few hours, the report by security consulting firm Multisistemas de Seguridad Industrial said.

In “express kidnappings”, the victims are not held by the criminals for long periods of time. They are held only for a few hours. “It doesn’t require a logistical or strategic plan, just two or three individuals who agree to threaten a person in exchange for money or assets,” the report said.

There is a much greater incidence of express kidnappings “due to the high profitability it presents and the low risk, in relation to drug trafficking, for example,” Alejandro Desfassiaux, Grupo Multisistemas chief, who also serves as president of the National Private Security Council, was quoted as saying.

Express kidnappings first started in Mexico City, but has now spread all over the country, he said. These, along with drug trafficking, are among the most profitable criminal activities and have low complexity and risk compared with other organised criminal activities.

Kidnappers generally use taxis or the victims’ own vehicles to take the person they abduct to withdraw money at ATMs, the report said.

Among the people who undertake this type of crime, 80 percent are male, 70 percent use firearms and the crimes are committed on the street, the report said.