Arrested While Traveling

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Arrested While Traveling

We all operate under the assumption that police do not arrest people for no reason.  Yet, somehow, for some reason, law enforcement professionals in another country have chosen to arrest you.  Here is what you must do …

By very polite, and do not raise you voice.

Insist immediately that your nations embassy be notified.

Be prepared to voluntarily surrender all documents and possession you have with you when
you are arrested.  Do not make them use force.

Be patient – this is the hardest for those who like to think they are in control.

Here is what you must not do.


Sign anything, even a receipt for you belongings.  You probably have no idea
what it says, or how the contents may change.

Disparage the local country, its laws, religion, or the law enforcement professionals.

Talk about the charges to anyone but your lawyer.

I assure you that if you are unfamiliar with the law, the countries customs, legal proceedings and procedures — you will make things worse.  If you are familiar, you will probably make things worse.  Be patient and wait for professional help.

If bribes are requested, ask for a receipt.  This does discourage some petty bribes — or as we refer top them “on the spot permission fees,” occasionally it does backfire.  My permission fee for driving with sandals went from $10 USD to $20 USD.  The officer had heard the request before, and charged $10 for a receipt.

At least the officer and I had a great laugh.  He did laugh last, and laughed loudest — and we got a quick story from it.

This Executive Protection article was written or edited by Barron James Shortt, the Executive Director of the International Bodyguard Association (IBA).

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