Kidnappings highest in Asia in 2016, according to findings of NYA’s Global Threat Map 2017

18/01/2017

The percentage of global kidnappings in Asia increased 10% last year compared to 2015, meaning the region retained the highest concentration of incidents worldwide (44%). By comparison, the proportion of worldwide kidnappings decreased to just 4% in the Middle East, despite the significant presence of extremist and organised criminal groups. These were some of the key findings of NYA International’s Global Threat Map 2017 which is released today. The infographic was created by the specialist risk management and crisis response consultancy’s analyst team, providing guidance and context for organisations to understand threats to their people and operations worldwide.

In Asia, the majority of recorded kidnappings targeted domestic nationals in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. However foreign nationals remain priority targets for Islamist extremist groups operating in the region, including Abu Sayyaf, who alongside their affiliates espouse an Islamist ideology but are predominantly financially motivated to acquire ransom payments to fund their continued conflict with the Philippine government. For similar reasons and despite the lower concentration of incidents, the threat to foreign nationals remains severe in areas of the Middle East including Libya, Syria and Iraq. Islamist extremist groups – most notably Islamic State – continue to target foreign nationals who are perceived as holding high financial and propaganda value.

Such assessments of countries or areas of interest are displayed in the Global Threat Map 2017 in an easily digestible format, and the map considers threats including crime, kidnapping, extortion, political and civil unrest, ethnic and sectarian violence, terrorism, and insurgency. The map is also combined with data and threat ratings for maritime piracy, which has seen a continued shift in concentration of incidents from East Africa to Southeast Asia and West Africa. In the Gulf of Guinea, NYA’s data suggests pirate groups are transitioning from targeting tankers for oil theft to targeting a wider variation of vessel types to kidnap crewmembers for ransom. This is partly a result of depreciated oil prices incidentally suppressing the black market for stolen oil, and has seen more than a hundred crewmembers and passengers kidnapped in 2016.

Both printed and digital versions of the Global Threat Map 2017 are available free of charge to businesses via the NYA International website