Assisted a mother after her child was abducted in Panama

An employee of a client company called Traveller Assist to ask for help after the father of her child decided he was leaving Panama (where the caller was based for work), and he had taken their child with him.

Our security team immediately requested the father, and child's name, date of birth, passport details, and their description, including what they were wearing when the caller saw them last. Our team contacted the local police, airport, and consulate to provide this information.

The caller was also advised to contact the bank where the couple held a joint account to inform them that the husbands bank card had been stolen, and to cancel the card immediately. Typically, banks don't get involved in domestic disputes, so our security team knew this was the best option they had to try and stop the father in his tracks.

Traveller Assist activated a local ground agent in Panama who has conducted several security and investigation assignments for our company. He immediately contacted several points of exit from Panama, including a ferry terminal with private hire boats to Costa Rica.

The mother received a call from her bank to say that someone had attempted to use the 'stolen' bank card to purchase flight tickets, but could not provide the exact location of where from.

Less than one-hour later, we received a call from the mother to say that the police had found the husband and child as they were leaving the airport. They had taken the father into custody, and the child was safe.

Our ground agent picked up the mother from her residence, and drove her to the police department where she was reunited with her child. The father's spousal visa was cancelled, and he was deported from the country in the following days.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the National Health Service have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting For up-to-date alerts and foreign travel advice, see

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