Express kidnapping

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Express kidnapping (Spanish: secuestro exprés; Portuguese: sequestro relâmpago) is a method of abduction where a small immediate ransom is demanded, often by the victim being forced to withdraw money from their ATM account.[1]

Known in the United States since at least 1986,[2] they are more commonly associated with urban areas of Latin America, such as Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and Colombia.[3] In some parts of Latin America, express kidnappings known as a millionaire tour (in Spanish paseo millonario) involve an innocent taxi cab passenger and a criminal driver, who stops to pick up associates. The passenger is taken to a variety of ATMs, and forced to "max out" their bank card at each.[4]

This type of kidnapping does not require much experience or preparation and is suspected of being committed by inexperienced criminals more often than not.[5]


  1. ^ "Express kidnappings on the rise in Panama". November 28, 2010.
  2. ^ "US Congressional Record". July 30, 1986: 18232. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Express kidnapping a way of life". The Telegraph. The Sydney Morning Herald. August 20, 2002.
  4. ^ "Twin Cities", 2009, The Atlantic
  5. ^ Stubbert, Christopher H.; Pires, Stephen F.; Guerette, Rob T. (2015-09-24). "Crime science and crime epidemics in developing countries: a reflection on kidnapping for ransom in Colombia, South America". Crime Science. 4 (1). doi:10.1186/s40163-015-0034-5. ISSN 2193-7680.

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