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Personal Conduct Overseas and What To Do If Arrested


A hostile or even friendly intelligence organization is always on the lookout for sources who are vulnerable to coercion, addictions, greed or emotional manipulation. To eliminate, or at least diminish, the possibility of your doing something inadvertent that would bring your activities to the special attention of one of these agencies, here are some DO NOT's to remember:

DO NOT do anything which might be misconstrued or reflect poorly on your personal judgment, professional demeanor, or embarrassing to you and/or your company.

DO NOT gossip about character flaws, financial problems, emotional relationships or marital difficulties of anyone working for the company, including yourself. This type of information is eagerly sought after by those who would like to exploit you or another employee.

DO NOT carry, use or purchase any narcotics, marijuana, or other abused drugs. Some countries have very stringent laws covering the import or use of medications and other substances. If you are using a prescribed medication that contains any narcotic substance or other medication that is subject to abuse, such as amphetamines or tranquilizers, carry a copy of the doctor's prescription for all medications and check your local restrictions and requirements prior to departure. Some countries may require additional documentation/certification from your doctor.

DO NOT let a friendly ambiance and alcohol override your good sense and capacity when it comes to social drinking. In some countries, heavy drinking in the form of toasting is quite common, and very few westerners can keep up with a local national when it comes to drinking the national brew. An intoxicated or hung over business negotiator could, if they are not careful, prove to be very embarrassing to themself and expensive to the company. In these situations, prudence is essential.

DO NOT engage in "Black Market" activities such as the illegal exchange of currency, or the purchase of religious icons or other local antiquities.

DO NOT accept or deliver letters, packages or anything else from anyone unknown to you. You have no way of knowing what you are carrying and it could result in your being arrested for illegally exporting a prohibited item.

DO NOT engage in any type of political or religious activity, or carry any political or religious tracts or brochures, or publications likely to be offensive in the host country, such as pornography or mercenary/weapons.

DO NOT photograph anything that appears to be associated with the military or internal security of the country, including airports, ports, or restricted areas such as military installations. If in doubt, DO NOT.

DO NOT purchase items that are illegal to import such as endangered species or agricultural products.


I've Been Arrested! What Do I Do Now?

Foreign police and intelligence agencies detain persons for a myriad of reasons or for no other reason than suspicion or curiosity. The best advice is to exercise good judgement, be professional in your demeanor and remember the suggestions and hints that are listed in this booklet. But, if you are detained or arrested for some reason, here are some points to remember:

DO ask to contact the nearest embassy or consulate representing your country. As a citizen of another country, you have this right; but that does not mean that your hosts will allow you to exercise that right. If you are refused or just ignored, continue to make the request periodically until they accede and let you contact your embassy or consulate.

DO stay calm, maintain your dignity and do not do anything to provoke the arresting officer(s).

DO NOT admit anything or volunteer any information.

DO NOT sign anything. Often, part of the detention procedure is to ask or tell the detainee to sign a written report. Decline politely until such time as the document is examined by an attorney or an embassy/consulate representative.

DO NOT accept anyone on face value. When the representative from the embassy or consulate arrives, request some identification before discussing your situation.

DO NOT fall for the ruse of helping the ones who are detaining you in return for your release. They can be very imaginative in their proposals on how you can be of assistance to them. Do not sell yourself out by agreeing to anything. If they will not take no for an answer, do not make a firm commitment or sign anything. Tell them that you will think it over and let them know. Once out of their hands, contact the affiliate or your embassy for protection and assistance in getting out of the country.

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