Physical security is something that is hard to justify having, when it works. When there is no action on the principal, it can be easily discounted as wasted security funding. When all of the underlining efforts aren’t seen by the naked eye, does that mean there are no security operations in effect? The answer is not only no, but I would challenge that the security operations were successful. The safe client is the client that doesn’t have a noticeable entourage and is not pegged as a high value client.
Would a Gorilla in a black suit stand out more than a detail that blends into the environment? You can’t be surveilled for a successful kidnapping, if you’re not seen as valuable. In business destinations like Mexico and Bogota, that are primarily Cartel controlled, are considered some of the deadliest places on earth. A private jet that lands in the middle of the day, to be received by two black Suburban’s with a security detail fit for a king, immediately will mark you as worthy enough to be noticed or even tracked. In these countries, the kidnapping of executives is a business model for organized crime and rebel groups.
In May 2017, Reinaldo Herrera, nephew to fashion designer Carolina Herrera, was kidnapped and found dead in Venezuela, even after ransom was paid. So how do you provide high-level security without looking like high-profile security? Zero Presence Protection is the best fit for this conundrum, and is becoming increasing more common in the executive protection industry.
The only safe way to do business in these high-threat areas is to assimilate into the local surroundings. In Zero Presence Protection, all the agents wear what the locals wear, drive the vehicles the locals drive and accompany the client in a role that appears natural. This means if the client needs to be on foot, an agent or agents will walk alongside him / her as a friend or associate, as to not give off the appearance of black-suited Gorillas that are protecting someone of high value or status.
What goes unseen surrounding this high value client, are several rings of covert protection agents that are highly trained in recognizing threats and out of place situations. This outer ring of invisible security is searching for subjects that are paying extra attention to the client or other surveillance teams that may have been noticed at other locations during their travel. These are all indicators of possible targeting of the client. All of this intricate security is constantly evolving which can be adjusted on-the-fly due to threats. In my experience, it is better to change locations and be late for a meeting, than risk exposure to a possible threat. If we can spot the perpetrator before he gets into our rings of security, then we win. Our job is to not stand out and prevent the attack.
APOD Group, a Corporate Executive Protection Company based out of Lexington Park Maryland, provides risk management to companies that have business in dangerous regions of the world like Afghanistan, Africa and South America. For APOD Group, the concept of Zero Presence Protection is natural, as we are a special operations capable company. Our team members have a vast background in clandestine operations, intelligence, surveillance, dignitary protection and executive protection. This mixture of experience creates a very fluid and successful team dynamic, that would greatly reduce any companies risk level and increase the bottom line through continued business overseas. If your current security management plan still includes black Suburban’s and black suited Gorillas, APOD Group is available to consult and help develop or revise your security plan to include Zero Presence Protection. Don’t stand out, move invisibly.