EUROPE

United Kingdom

24 November Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced while addressing a counter-terrorism event in London that, as part of a Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, UK based insurance companies will be banned from paying ransoms to terrorist groups. The government hopes that companies and families will be deterred from paying ransoms if the money cannot be claimed back. The government intends to fast-track the legislation.

26 November Catherine Thomas, Director Analytics, AM Best, said that the new terrorism bill is not expected to be detrimental to the business model of K&R insurers. She added that while insurers generally provide cover for reimbursement of ransom payments under K&R policies, only a small proportion of policies are in regions where terrorist activity occurs. AM Best notes that K&R insurers are prohibited by the United Nations from paying or reimbursing ransoms to proscribed terrorist organisations and policies typically exclude such payments.

THE CARIBBEAN

British Virgin Islands

26 November The police released details about a kidnapping incident that happened over the weekend after finding charred human remains in a vehicle in the area of Annaly Bay, St. Croix. They believe the body is connected to a kidnap for ransom incident that they were alerted to on the night of 22 November. A woman reported that her husband, Tarik Abdullah (37), had been missing for about five hours. She last saw him at around 2:00pm in the Sunny Isle Shopping Centre. She had tried unsuccessfully to call him on a number of occasions. She received a call later telling her that her husband had been kidnapped and she should deliver money for his safe return.

Dominican Republic

23 November The Banks Superintendent reported that the Monetary Board had proceeded to dissolve Banco Peravia Ahoros y Credito SA as a result of several incidents including the alleged attempted kidnapping of one of the major stakeholders. The police reported seizing guns, tape and knives from a BMW on 27 October left by a group of men who, allegedly, tried to kidnap Venezuelan businessman, Luis Rios Virla, who arrived in the country to collect USD2.5 million from Banco Peravia Ahoros y Credito SA.

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