MS Risk Blog

Global kidnap risk rises as UK Government plans legislation to prevent insurance payments

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MS Risk Limited, a leading independent crisis response company serving the Lloyd’s of London specialty risk insurance market, issues its annual Kidnap for Ransom Review as the UK government debates  adjusting legislation on the future legal status of kidnap insurance, which prevents reimbursement of terrorist ransom payments.

In the absence of effective prevention and professional  law enforcement response, business travellers, tourists, aid workers, journalists and local nationals in at least 53 countries remain dangerously exposed to this cowardly crime and the impacts it has on hostages, their family members, employers, communities and governments.

The MS Risk  report shows a particular trend in the Middle East and North Africa region by terrorists and criminal gangs using terrorist labels, to invoke fear to demand ransoms and political concessions through kidnap operations.  This is assessed as representing 11% of global kidnap incidents during the preceding twelve months.

Incidents in the Maghreb and wider Sahel regions of sub-Saharan Africa fuel an estimated 29% of global kidnap events.  Bold spectaculars – in particular by Boko Haram – and the regular use of middlemen for mediation and poor engagement with adversaries is contributing to increased expectations on ransoms and other concessions by militants.

Some cases do not result in demands and captives are held for protracted periods and used as human shields or for future unclarified purposes.

Latin America and Asia continue to see respective climbs in kidnapping and extortion incidents.  Holistic reporting remains unclear and the threat is largely ill defined due to inconsistent data capture.

Further Information:

Liam Morrissey, Chief Executive Officer +44 (0) 207 754 3555 or

Issued by Pat Adamson, MTI Network. +44 (0) 7836 766 947  or Will Marks +44 (0) 207 823 9444

The full report can be provided to accredited industry and media  contacts only.


MS Risk Limited:

MS Risk acts on a non-exclusive basis for Lloyd’s of London registered underwriters and brokers providing crisis response services.  These services are performed internationally and include responses to kidnap, extortion, hijack, illegal detention and malicious product tamper events.  MS Risk serves insurers and works directly for corporations, non-governmental organisations and private individuals to mitigate these threats, to assess and understand risks and to create robust secure and safe conditions for clients in challenging environments.  A new breed security consultancy, its principals have worked around the world successfully supporting commercial interests with effective and proportionate security controls and crisis response services for over twenty years.  It’s hotline service, team of analysts and response consultants serve clients worldwide on a 24/7 basis.




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