High net worth celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney have been increasingly targeted by crime gangs after expensive jewellery and watches and there’s a growing market for protection teams to guard against violent robbers and kidnappers.
But if you’re hiring an élite bodyguard, you need to know that they’re the real deal. That’s where Guillaume Vetier comes in.
Former special forces operative Guillaume runs a company called Golem Protection that tests the defences of high profile business people or wealthy VIPs from all over the world.
His team “breaks into” well-guarded homes, using paintball guns and marker pen “knives" to demonstrate just how terrifyingly close they can get to their targets.
"Nearly all of our team is ex-special forces,” he told The Sun, “so our job before was to get people for real. And now we are protecting people”.
He explains that he protects them by pretending to kill them – breaking into their homes, bypassing alarms, neutralising bodyguards and carrying out a fake attack.
“Obviously, we simulate the killing part,” he jokes.
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He tells the story of one operation where a member of his team posed as a young mum to lull security staff into ignoring her.
But then, once the target’s bodyguards had accepted her as part of the scenery she pounced, “stabbing” the target with a Sharpie in a mock-assassination.
In another operation, Guillaume’s team carried out a “Mission Impossible” style infiltration, climbing a snow-covered roof at night, and using thermal cameras and night-vision goggles to scope out their target and evade detection.
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"This contract was very interesting,” he said, “because it was penetrating the home to access some information and to access the clients because the client had safe room protection. So he thought it was impossible to get him”.
Guillaume explains how he takes great care not to injure his targets or their bodyguards – but at the same time "there is always an element of danger,” he says, “because you are testing a protection team”.
As well as testing protections teams, Guillaume also trains them, and teaches specialists in SWAT teams and other law enforcement organisations how to prevent attacks from people who are as skilled as he is, but have darker intentions.
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