Wash. Investment Board Hires Security Firm After Close Calls Overseas

May 15, 2012

A series of close calls on overseas trips has led the Washington State Investment Board to contract with a top global security firm. One incident even had the potential to turn into a kidnapping.

From China and India to remote mining areas in Patagonia and Western Australia. These days Washington state investment officers travel the globe to see firsthand real estate and other investment opportunities. But visits to emerging markets come with risk. According to state documents, staff members have been threatened in Rio de Janeiro, swept up in a civil riot in Nigeria and even, in one case, eluded what could have turned into a kidnap and ransom situation in remote Southeast Asia.

So now the State Investment Board has contracted with Control Risks Group, a global security consulting firm. The Board’s Theresa Whitmarsh says the company will brief her employees before depart overseas.

Theresa Whitmarsh: “It allows us to put the appropriate security measures in place before that employee leaves, it also trains the employees on things they should be culturally aware.”

Once the employee is overseas, Control Risks offers a blanket of services if there’s a security emergency.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

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