Express kidnapping

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 his or her ATM account.[1]

Known in the US since at least 1986,[2] they are more commonly associated with urban areas of Latin America, such as Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.[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][6] Target hostages are held anywhere from an hour to several hours and are usually in the middle socioeconomic class, small-business owners, or anyone with easily accessible funds.[6] This modality gained popularity for the reason that laws became stricter over the years and criminals started to look for more common and easier targets to avoid detection.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Express kidnappings on the rise in Panama". November 28, 2010.
  2. ^ "US Congressional Record". July 30, 1986: 18232.
  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.
  6. ^ a b "Latin American Criminals Have Found a Low-Risk, Lucrative Trade in 'Express Kidnapping'". 2015-07-25. Retrieved 2019-02-19.