Bank of Ireland: 'tiger' kidnap

A SECURITY expert has warned that unless banks take a proactive approach in trying to thwart 'tiger' kidnappings, an employee will lose their life in a botched attempted extortion.

Joe Ryan, managing director of Glenevin, which provides security consultancy to financial institutions, said that at-risk bank staff require training in "counter surveillance" so they can recognise if they are being followed by a crime gang.

"Before a tiger kidnapping, there is lengthy surveillance of the targeted employee and their families. A simple course in counter-surveillance would teach employees how to recognise if they are being followed. It has proved effective in other countries that as soon as the gang realise the person they are following is on to them, they abandon the plan to carry out the kidnapping. I know all the firms providing these courses and not one has been approached by a bank," he said.

Ryan added that it was a major cause for concern that the gangs carrying out the increasing number of tiger kidnappings were becoming more and more violent.

"We have gone from a situation where they hold people hostage for a couple of hours to them now holding people and their young children overnight, being violent and firing shots over their heads. I think what will happen is that there will be a bad beating in one of these situations soon that will result in an accidental fatality," he said.