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I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for a ransom, I can tell you I don't have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.
This quote was rushing through everyone’s minds as Candour and Made Agency combined forces for a Taken-themed team building exercise spread throughout Norwich on Friday 17th May, organised by Right Angle Events.
All was calm during a casual lunch between the two agencies, with lots of pizza and beers to go round with plenty of banter to match. What was a pizza party however turned into something more as news came in of Snoop the dog being kidnapped and held somewhere within the winding streets of Norwich.
The agencies arrived at 13:30 at St George’s Works where they had been told they would be briefed about the situation by Steve Gaskin, ex-Scotland Yard detective and now Director of Right Angle Events.
The kidnappers had left a ransom note saying the agencies had two hours to pay the £150,000 ransom otherwise Snoop will be taken away (speculation as to which agency did this was fervently discussed).
Candour and Made Agency created an alliance, forming three teams to try and rumble who was behind the kidnapping and get Snoop back safely. After some excellent training from "the Guv" and Sarge supplied by Right Angle Agency about forensics, tracking a suspect, and hostage negotiation, the three teams set out to see who could get Snoop back first.
Three tasks required completion before everyone’s beloved Snoop could be rescued. With some mysterious intel, teams were given leads on where to start.
Having recovered some documents and general rubbish from the suspects, the first task was to draw fingerprints from the assorted clues and evidence using magnetic flake powder supplied from actual forensic labs. After some strong collaboration and deciphering distinct fingerprints, it was figured out that at least two (horrible) individuals were identified to be participating in this abhorrent crime.
A meeting was set up with an unknown informant, with specific greeting instructions the teams were to extract the information from them. The information provided was a map of the drop location, and a page with a series of unintelligible letters, numbers, and shapes.
Traditionally with kidnappings in the UK, ransoms are always paid and for Snoop there was zero hesitation regarding this. The funds were brought forward with each team having to drop the money off at separate time points in a mysterious unnamed park. Posing as an innocent Norwich City Football Club fan, the money was to be left under a specific log in a park in a small but very visible Canaries bag. Upon entering the park there was a tense atmosphere, a number of suspicious and unsavoury individuals were seen, making the drop off that much more difficult. With team members tactically placed at separate exits to the park, they were able to keep a watch on the money drop and provide intel about suspicious behaviour. Each of the teams were greeted by a suited man who seemed very interested in the package, after a nervy conversation new intel was provided through him in the form of a package and the words “the plan’s changed”. Was this one of the kidnappers? The signs were there but the law requires more evidence.
With the rain really starting to fall now, the teams were rushed indoors armed with the new instructions about the money drop. In the package was a message inside and some code on the package itself. The newly promoted detectives from Made Agency and Candour instantly knew what to do.
However upon reading the message about the new drop, members started to question if this was a wild goose chase or not but were all extremely determined to get Snoop back home. Making it to the new drop place, all teams knew to tail who they made the drop to, hopefully they could lead them to Snoop himself! This required tactical and geographical awareness (made easy by WhatsApp).
Some ‘questionable’ methods of tracking were used, from hiding in plain site to completely losing the suspect and then accidentally bumping into him - the tailing was not leading anywhere. Now with half an hour left to the given deadline, all teams received a phone call from headquarters stating new intel was available and to get back ASAP.
Rushing back to HQ, the teams were given a code to decipher as well as some fingerprints to match with those they had found whilst out and about. It was a race against time, which team could figure out where Snoop was being held and separately where the kidnappers were.
The Candour-only team saw triumph, being led by 9-year-old Eliza, decoding the cryptic message about Snoop being held in the Castle Keep and rushing off to go rescue him just in time.
The middleman and informant were both identified by one of the joint-agency teams (nicknamed Mandour), they were found lurking (almost unsurprisingly) in a pub close by. They were seen sprinting out of HQ to arrest the men for this terrible crime, and brought them back to be dealt with later on.
This joint activity between Candour and Made Agency was thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated, and really created a great bond between the two agencies who were later spotted in the pub together enjoying some well deserved drinks and lots of love for our beloved Snoop.
Thank you so much, Right Angle Events for a great day!
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