How not to get kidnapped in Thailand

Interesting and sobering info from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

We like this part: To the degree Bangkok traffic allows, remain a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead to allow space for avoidance maneuvers, if necessary.

and this

Remember, do not panic if surveillance is confirmed. Surveillance teams are normally neither trained nor have the mission to assault the potential target.

We hope they really are that hapless...

From: American Citizen Services - Bangkok

The following notice was sent to the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok by the Embassy's Regional Security Office on February 4, 2002:

On Friday, February 1, the State Department issued a public announcement updating its Worldwide caution of October 2001 to note concern with regard to possible kidnappings and other terrorist actions. While we are unaware of any specific threat involving Thailand, the potential for retaliatory actions taken against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world by terrorists and those who harbor grievances against the United States must be taken seriously. The announcement noted that the Department of State has unconfirmed reports that American citizens may be targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist actions, and urged U.S. citizens living and travelling abroad to take all appropriate measures to ensure their personal safety. U.S. Government facilities, including those in Thailand remain at a heightened state of alert.

To assist you in reviewing your own personal security, the following basic security precautions are provided for your review. Please review them, share the information with family members, and take appropriate action to ensure your own personal security.

-- The single most important security precaution is to remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. Be alert for surveillance. Report suspicious activity to local police and to the Embassy's American Citizen Services Unit immediately. If in doubt, REPORT IT!

Travel Precautions

-- Never enter a car without checking the rear seat to insure that it is empty.

-- Do not develop predictable patterns during the business day or during free time.

-- Even the slightest disruption in travel patterns may disrupt a surveillance team sufficiently for them to tip their hand or abandon their efforts.

-- If you have a driver, consider riding up front next to the driver sometimes, in keeping with the low profile concept and to confuse surveillance teams.

-- When driving, keep doors and windows locked, and your seatbelt fastened.

-- Be constantly alert to road conditions and surroundings, to include possible surveillance by car, motorcycle, or bicycle. All passengers should be vigilant.

-- To the degree Bangkok traffic allows, remain a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead to allow space for avoidance maneuvers, if necessary.

-- Check side and rear view mirrors routinely.

Surveillance

If surveillance is suspected, consider the following actions:

-- Divert from originally intended destination, make a few turns to see if the surveillant still persists.

-- Immediately determine any identifying data that you can observe. (For example: make, color of car, license number, number and description of occupants.) Report the information to the police and Embassy immediately.

-- Remember, do not panic if surveillance is confirmed. Surveillance teams are normally neither trained nor have the mission to assault the potential target.

Parking Precautions

-- Always lock the vehicle, no matter where it is located.

-- Never exit vehicle without checking the area for suspicious individuals. If in doubt, drive away.

If you suspect you have been the target of surveillance, see something that looks out of the ordinary, or have a concern or question about security, please contact the Embassy's American Citizen Services Unit at 02-205-4049.

This entry was posted in Crime. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.