When Cultural Faux Pas and Inadvertent Rule-Breaking Lead to Detention

US citizen Shezanne Cassim and four other men are currently being detained in United Arab Emirates for making a satirical film about a fictional martial arts school in Satwa neighborhood of Dubai.  The 20-minute film, which follows the format of shows like Fight Quest and Human Weapon begins with the film makers visiting the fictional…

When 419 Fraud Gets Dangerous

Advanced fee fraud – commonly known as 419 fraud has been going on for years.  Most commonly manifested in the emails – and in the past faxes and letters – that the potential victims receive offering them an opportunity to get a large sum of money to facilitate the transfer of funds or provide some…

Security Considerations When Working with Local Contacts

If you are working overseas or traveling internationally for business then you probably deal with local contacts of some type.  They may be local representatives, partners, vendors or suppliers, customers or others.  While most interaction with local contacts will be valuable and productive there are potential security concerns to be aware of and to think…

Expatriate Residential Considerations

Expatriates and long term visitors who will be using private accommodation rather than a hotel need to look at security considerations when selecting a residence. The first consideration should be the location and neighborhood.   You clearly want to identify a safe or safer neighborhood for obvious reasons.  Unfortunately in many places crime statistics are not…

Self Driving vs. Hiring a Driver: the Pros & Cons

One of the questions for expatriates and many travelers is whether to hire a local driver or drive themselves.  There are pros and cons associated with both choices and its important to recognize and consider them when making a decision. This discussion focuses on expatriates and travelers in developing countries where this decision is much…

Devil’s Breath & The Ativan Gang

An alarming trend that has been occurring in different places around the world is the use of drugs in facilitating crimes like robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping.  These incidents have occurred in locations as varied as Colombia, the Philippines and India. While most Americans may be aware of the use of drugs such as Rohypnol…