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In criminal law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and

confinement of a person against their will. Thus, it is a composite crime. It can
also be defined as false imprisonment by means of abduction, both of which are
separate crimes that when committed simultaneously upon the same person merge
as the single crime of kidnapping. The asportation/abduction element is typically
but not necessarily conducted by means of force or fear. That is, the perpetrator
may use a weapon to force the victim into a vehicle, but it is still kidnapping if
the victim is enticed to enter the vehicle willingly, e.g., in the belief it is a taxicab.

Kidnapping may be done to demand for ransom in exchange for releasing the
victim, or for other illegal purposes. Kidnapping can be accompanied by bodily
injury which elevates the crime to aggravated kidnapping


Kidnapping, also spelled kidnaping, criminal offense consisting of the unlawful

taking and carrying away of a person by force or fraud or the unlawful seizure and
detention of a person against his will. The principal motives for kidnapping are to
subject the victim to some form of involuntary servitude, to expose him to the
commission of some further criminal act against his person, or to obtain ransom
for his safe release. More recently, kidnapping for the purpose of extortion has
become a tactic of political revolutionaries or terrorists seeking concessions from
a government. In all countries it is considered a grave offense punishable by a
long prison sentence or death.

In earlier times kidnapping meant carrying a person away to another country for
involuntary servitude. It also referred to the practices of impressing males into
military service (also known as crimping) by fraudulent inducement or force and
of shanghaiing merchant seamen in port cities.
Abducting young women and selling them for purposes of concubinage or
prostitution has also been characterized as a form of kidnapping. In current
statutes this is often described as abduction and ordinarily includes the taking or
detention of a girl under a designated age for purposes of marriage. In some
countries the alienation of a husband from his wife by another woman who entices
him away is also delineated as a criminal offense within the meaning of abduction.

Modern kidnapping laws are drawn so as to proscribe the offense of taking a

person with the object of extorting large amounts of ransom money or other
concessions for his safe return. This became common in the United States during
the 1920s and 1930s. The kidnapping in 1932 of the infant son of the
internationally known American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh spurred legislation
imposing the death penalty for transporting a kidnapped victim across a state line.

Named forms

Bride kidnapping is a term often applied loosely, to include any bride "abducted"
against the will of her parents, even if she is willing to marry the "abductor". It
still is traditional amongst certain nomadic peoples of Central Asia. It has seen a
resurgence in Kyrgyzstan since the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent
erosion of women's rights.[2]

Express kidnapping is a method of abduction used in some countries, mainly from

Latin America,[3] where a small ransom, that a company or family can easily pay,
is demanded.

Tiger kidnapping is taking a hostage to make a loved one or associate of the victim
do something: e.g. a child is taken hostage to force the shopkeeper to open the
safe. The term originates from the usually long preceding observation, like a tiger
does on the prowl.
Global kidnapping hotspots

1999 2006 2014

1 Colombia Mexico Mexico

2 Mexico Iraq India

3 Brazil India Pakistan

4 Philippines South Africa Iraq

5 Venezuela Brazil Nigeria

6 Ecuador Pakistan Libya

7 Russia and CIS Ecuador Afghanistan

8 Nigeria Venezuela Bangladesh

9 India Colombia Sudan

10 South Africa Bangladesh Lebanon