Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It is finished! I think.

A small drama that's been unfolding over recent weeks and months has finally come to an end... At least, I hope it has.

A few weeks back I wrote about a pretty poor attempt at blackmail / extortion that's been directed at Blue Dragon, and at me in particular (being such a fabulously wealthy guy and all! Will somebody bring me my Aston Martin please?)

The whole story is long and complex, and for several reasons I can't give all the details on the blog. But the extortionist is someone known to the staff and kids of Blue Dragon - he used to be very close to us all - and demanding money out of me "or else" isn't the only thing he's done to cause trouble.

Some months ago, the same guy robbed Blue Dragon while I was in Australia. We got back the most important gear, but it took a lot of work and left a nasty taste in all of our mouths!

And since his attempt at blackmail failed so hopelessly, he went out and bought himself a home made bomb. Apparently he was walking around with this thing in his pocket, so he's lucky to still have both legs. He was just trying to scare us, it seems, but we did have to take some precautions and close the center very early one Friday!

It's been a stressful time - not only because of the demands and the bomb threat, but also because this has all come about at the hand of somebody we have helped and cared for. That really hurts.

And the conclusion? Not quite satisfactory... But then, we were all going to be losers in this case.

The young man was caught by the police this week, and spent some time shackled by the leg in the nearby police station. But he's not going to prison; instead he has to pay compensation and then stay far away from us. We have been assured that he'll spend about 20 years in prison if he causes any more trouble.

But is it really over? I'm not so sure. His father has already been ringing me to complain that the family can't afford to pay compensation. I've suggested that they try selling their house, but I don't think they liked that idea.

Life goes on, though - nothing has slowed down at Blue Dragon, even though we've been looking over our shoulders for such a long time. Yesterday 5 runaway boys from a remote village stumbled into our center, bringing the total number of runaways we have seen this month to 10! And of course there's plenty more happening, even though I have been staying quiet on the blog of late.

With this mess behind me, I promise to write more updates!

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