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Paris Hilton Rendered to Offshore Blackshop
May 5, 2016
NEW YORK--Spokespeople for famed Manhattan socialite Paris Hilton report that the three-time heiress was rendered Thursday to an undisclosed, offshore shopping haven known as a "blackshop." "It was an ambush...we were overwhelmed instantly," admitted Fred Luchia, Hilton's tearful head of security. "I'd say six, maybe seven well-trained guys, dressed in black Prada, head to foot, balaclavas [...]. She was zipped up in a Gucci body bag and gone before we knew what happened."
"Rendition," an emerging practice among high-end retailers and luxury goods companies, involves the abduction of wealthy, high-profile customers who are reportedly detained at baroque, unidentified duty-free camps, often indefinitely and without access to courts, attorneys, or financial advisers. "There are no clear numbers on how many have been taken in this way," explains Brett Horgaus, an ACLU attorney and head of the organization's human trafficking task force. "We estimate that as many as 2-3 thousand ultra-wealthy consumers are being held a half-dozen secret sites worldwide. The stigma of these abductions, and the secrecy among the families of those who are targets, lead us to suspect that this estimate may be low."
Few clues have emerged about the mysterious process and the far-flung operations network that reportedly supports it. June reports in Vanity Fair and the New York Times linked the abductions to a network of unmarked, private jets and anonymous, mid-western front corporations with names like "Houston Dataplan Unlimited" and "Pick-of-the-litter, Inc."
A more recent account from a purported former detainee includes tales of being forced to shop in stress positions, dancing to exhaustion in clubs playing music at high volumes, and being incessantly coddled by teams of ominous, hooded figures. "For more than 6 months all I heard was 'spend, spend, spend,'" explains Frank Fetch, the son of a wealthy Minneapolis publishing family. "They wouldn't let me sleep. I'd start to nod off, and there'd be another handler with an exclusive Manolo Blahnik sneaker or a tray of cashmere Q-Tips. It was exhausting, mentally draining."
Some investigators have also begun to raise questions about the practice. "The detainees, until now, have been classified as prisoners of a hostile, state-less power," notes U.S. Internal Revenue spokeswoman Sophie Ticondaroga, "which affords them favorable tax treatment for the duration of their imprisonment. Should we find, however, that the detainees consented to their imprisonment, or otherwise colluded in their abductions, we would likely seek remedies on behalf of the treasury."
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