Business Travel In Dangerous Zones
The potential for business growth often outweighs the risk of conducting business in dangerous areas. Risk Management and private travel security can mitigate the inevitable dangers involved. Priavo Security Operatives have recently worked alongside senior management executives on site visits and corporate road shows within high-risk areas across Africa, South America, Indonesia and the Middle East. Kidnappings and hostage situations are a real threat in certain areas and the global threat is heightened with the latest threat from Islamist Groups. Protecting employees requires travel security: planning, training, tracking, and preparing for emergencies as outlined below:
1. Operational Planning
One of the most critical aspects of travel security is the planning stage. Close Protection Operatives will conduct a full travel risk assessment, gathering intelligence on the following:
- Modes of travel, ground transportation, arrival and destination points, airport procedures
- Itinerary, route recces, accommodation security protocols, advance venue recces
- Social, economic and political climate, In-country Risk Analysis, In-country investigations
2. Security Awareness Training
Situational awareness is critical. Avoiding attention by excluding clothing or jewellery that identifies an individual as a tourist. Adopting local customs and speech/greetings will help blend in. Knowing your route (don’t look lost) and adapting behavior; there are many tips to avoid becoming an attractive potential target.
A review of emergency protocols will allow any business traveler to react quickly. This will include a full brief on local police, embassies, consulates, hospitals and emergency contact points. Basic surveillance, counter-surveillance, self defense and defensive driving tactics are valuable skills that are taught to traveling executives, enabling clients to address the situation before it escalates. As Corporate Espionage is a real threat and notoriously so in Russia and China, a full brief on cyber security is included with the training plan.
Tracking clients is an effective way of ensuring safety; notifying a company of an executives whereabouts at all times, quickly determining any deviation from the plan. Adding GPS tracking devices and check-in times to the itinerary increases the chances of successful search and rescue operation if required.
The obvious drawback is this requires full cooperation and may inhibit freedom of movement; some corporates can be uncomfortable with tracking equipment and it is important to pre-agree privacy considerations.
4. Emergency Response Procedures
The final part of the travel plan is knowing what to expect and how to react in a kidnapping situation. High profile executives representing government and large corporations have been targeted for ransom to advance political agendas in recent years. Preparing for the possibility of capture is crucial. Recognizing and addressing the threat is part of the educational process. Contingency plans are crucial for first responders and diplomatic resources to facilitate and expedite response and rescue efforts, if needed.
Adversaries around the world are becoming more organised and corruption in high risk territories makes it easier to target corporate executives as they travel and explore these emerging markets. Priavo Security Close Protection Operatives offer solutions to corporations and will employ the security procedures detailed above to ensure the safety of any executive traveling to dangerous parts of the world.