In late November 2019, a longstanding client contacted the SCS team. He explained how a medical issue escalated into a severe security problem for one of his executives visiting Ibadan on business. The executive had been admitted to the hospital for treatment. However, once the medical staff treated him, the hospital demanded a large sum of money in cash as payment. A security emergency in the making.
The executive had to undergo unexpected hospitalization and did not have access to cash or official documentation. When they realized this, the hospital refused to return the executive’s belongings and prevented him from leaving the premises.
However, the executive could relay his situation to the CSO of his company. He briefly explained the current circumstances before his phone was no longer in his reach.
The exact name and location of the hospital were no longer known due to a breakdown in communication. Without access to his phone, the SCS team didn’t have further information to guide them. The executive required immediate extraction, but achieving this result was by no means straightforward.
Security Emergency Challenges
Once the CSO of the executive’s company realized that the executive required help, he immediately contacted SCS operations in Tel Aviv. They then mobilized a team that recently completed an operation in Lagos and were ready for duty. However, the operation presented numerous challenges.
That was mainly due to little information available regarding the executive’s exact location, alongside Lagos and Ibadan’s geographical distance.
The situation demanded a quick response with dynamic problem-solving while on the road. But also flexibility and creative thinking to ensure accurate decision-making based on flawed information.
Solving logistical issues while reassuring the client about the safe and practical solution to this developing crisis was also highly important. The client required extraction ASAP, and SCS was on hand to make it happen.
Locating the executive’s precise whereabouts was the priority. And mobilizing a team with knowledge of the Ibadan area was crucial to achieving this.
The challenges surrounding this particular situation also demanded a broad range of other skills, experience, and logistical planning. These include:
Responsive Mobilization — The SCS team had to be ready to mobilize instantly, providing a responsive solution to an escalating crisis;
Flexible Support — Teams based in different locations had to offer expedient support and streamline execution;
Creativity and Problem Solving — The SCS team had to solve problems independently and on-the-ground to locate the executive;
Trust, Reliability, and Professionalism — As a longstanding client, SCS had already built a trusted connection with the CSO through knowledgeable, professional, and reliable guidance. A high level of trust was also necessary throughout the crisis to protect the executive’s privacy and ensure confidentiality.
Upon receiving the call, SCS immediately mobilized a team from Lagos with knowledge of the target area and dispatched them towards Ibadan. They did so despite being unaware of the final destination. This team had recently completed an operation in Ibadan. Hence, they knew the hospital system there as part of their pre-task threat and risk assessment.
Thanks to this, they had a unique level of expertise in this particular operation.
Using motorcycles instead of SUVs, the team was able to reduce the time of the journey significantly. This first team’s enhanced mobility would also prove extremely useful during the search for the executive in Ibadan. Additionally, SCS maintained contact with the CSO while in transit, providing regular updates and an ETA.
During this time, a second SCS team based in Ibadan mobilized to meet the first upon arrival. This team consisted of two SUVs and two armed escort teams (with Mopols – armed police officers). The second team was ready to extract the executive and return him safely to Lagos and out of the country.
Response Timeline in a Security Emergency
Less than four hours after the initial call, both teams were united. They debriefed each other and shared knowledge on how the situation had developed. At this point, locating the executive swiftly was paramount. After a short debrief, the team organized themselves into two groups to broaden the search and find the executive.
With back-office support from SCS Tel Aviv, they narrowed down the options to three specific hospitals within Ibadan. They achieved this by relaying information given by the executive to his CSO, who remained in contact with SCS. The two teams were then dispatched to the locations, always staying in touch with each other.
Team two found the executive at the second location using a copy of his passport to identify him to hospital staff. A team member then instantly signaled team one to join them at the hospital for further support. During this time, team two was already in the process of organizing the executive’s extraction.
Once they located the executive within the hospital grounds, the SCS team could calmly secure him and his belongings. They did this with the minimum of friction with the staff while taking care of the bill and the paperwork. They relayed the executive’s health and mood back to SCS operations to reassure the client further.
Finally, a little under seven hours after the initial alert, the SCS team secured the executive and left the hospital. Reassurance from the SCS team allowed the executive to relax for the first time since the beginning of the ordeal. After this, he was quickly transported to a secure location in Lagos.
The SCS team accommodated him in a hotel room, where the executive rested for 24 hours and gathered his strength. The next day the team arranged a flight, and he was transported to the airport. This brought an end to the ordeal, ensuring the executive’s safe return for further medical examinations.
For more insight into our previous work, take a look at the rest of our Case Studies & Articles and learn about how the SCS team ensures professional, responsive, and flexible security services across the globe. Alternatively, for more information on how our adaptive services can help you and your clients, contact us today.