Philippines: October 30, 2003

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The government has increased its effort to hunt down and arrest those few gangs responsible for most kidnappings for profit. Some of these groups are criminal, but some are rebels, like Abu Sayyaf, and some are sponsored by political parties (raising money for election campaigns.) Despite a lot of anti-kidnapping effort, the average monthly number of kidnappings this year has been 8.3, versus 6.3 last year. Government investigators believe that five or six gangs account for most of the kidnappings. There is a lot of money involved in this, and it is thought that police and army troops have been corrupted at times by the well financed kidnappings gangs.

 

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