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Travel Security | Special Edition 2021

Markus Korhonen 2 March 2021
2 March 2021    Markus Korhonen

Travel Security | Special Edition 2021

In this bulletin, we look at how the world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, and what that means for travel security risks for the coming year. While the pandemic and its associated lockdowns halted or delayed most travel in 2020, we nonetheless saw the persistence of some travel threats, and the emergence of others. We focus on some of the key travel security stories of the year, including a look at the latest developments in kidnapping, organised crime, and piracy, and look at how the pandemic has impacted the work of emergency responders.

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In our 2021 Travel Security Special Edition, we look at how the world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, and what that means for travel security risks for the coming year. While the pandemic and its associated lockdowns halted or delayed most travel in 2020, we nonetheless saw the persistence of some travel threats, and the emergence of others. We focus on some of the key travel security stories of the year, including a look at the latest developments in kidnapping, organised crime, and piracy, and consider how the pandemic has impacted the work of emergency responders.

 

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Covid-19 fallout: Civil unrest in the wake of the pandemic

Civil UnrestFrom March 2020, governments around the world imposed lockdowns and other restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Initially, the frequency of civil unrest declined, but as the social and economic costs of lockdowns began to mount, so did incidents of protest. Concerns related to the pandemic were of course not the only driver of protest in 2020, but underlying dissatisfaction with governments was in many cases exacerbated by the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic. The turmoil prompted by the pandemic is likely to play a key role in unrest in the coming year. Read the article

 

Disaster risks during Covid-19

Disaster RisksResponding to the pandemic has strained many governments’ emergency response resources and put added pressure on supply chains. As a result, the onset of natural disasters or other major emergencies is likely to present a major challenge for governments for some time. In the coming year, travellers will have to be increasingly prepared, and have appropriate measures in place to minimise the impacts of such events. Read the article

 

Another door opens: Gangs gain a foothold in a post-Covid world

Organised CrimeOrganised crime was affected by the COVID-19 crisis just as most other enterprises. As a result, gangs around the world have had to adapt to make the most of, or to exploit, the changed circumstances. From the Yakuza in Japan, to extortion gangs in South Africa, to Mexican cartels, criminal organisations have found ways to remain relevant and, therefore, to present a persistent threat in the coming year. Read the article

 

Disappearing act: Virtual kidnappings in North America

Virtual KidnappingsVirtual kidnappings have not been particularly common in North America, but recent incidents suggest it is becoming an increasing threat. In part, the growing frequency of these incidents has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw more people online and isolating in their homes – thereby increasing their exposure to these scams. With ransom demands in the thousands of USD, these crimes can be very costly to victims or their families. Read the article

 

Kidnap and extortion in Russia-CIS: New and old tricks

Kidnap and Extortion in RussiaCriminal groups in the Russia-CIS region have used a variety of means to target victims during the pandemic. In Georgia, criminals have taken advantage of stretched security forces to carry out kidnappings; in Ukraine, corrupt officials have exploited pandemic-induced uncertainty and targeted travellers for bribes over fabricated travel restriction infringements; and in Russia, cyber criminals have used new methods to target locally-based operators, a marked change from previous operating patterns. Read the article

 

Covid-19 and the rising threat of piracy and maritime crime around the world

Maritime CrimeVessels forced to remain at sea and increasingly challenging socio-economic circumstances on land have created the conditions for an increase in maritime attacks and piracy incidents in 2020. While there is little reason to expect a drastic rise in incidents in 2021, the coasts of West Africa and Southeast Asia will remain hotspots for maritime crime over the next twelve months. Read the article

S-RM is a global risk consultancy providing intelligence, resilience and response solutions to clients worldwide. To discuss this article or other industry developments, please reach out to one of our experts.

Markus Korhonen
Markus korhonen Senior Associate Email Markus

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