Child recovery expert Col Chapman has opened up on the moments he found the 6-year-old Kiwi girl who was taken on a dramatic trans-Tasman journey by her father. Que Langdon returned to New Zealand with her mother Ariane Wyler this week, after Que's father Alan sailed with her across the Tasman on his yacht in December. Wyler hired Australia-based private investigator Col Chapman to find Robert and Que, and he tracked the pair to Ulladulla on the New South Wales coast. He described the moment they found the little girl and her father. "We're not flash-bangs, we're not aggressive. Like this one, we surveilled, surveilled, surveilled", he told the Weekend Herald. "Que was wondering 110m away from the boat, out of his sight behind a large one-storey building, he had to turn three corners to see her again for about 7 or 8 minutes, so it was a perfect opportunity." After they managed to collect Que and hand her to her mother, they informed Langdon that the chase was over. "The first words out of his mouth were 'Oh, f***'. "He stops for a moment, turns over his shoulder and goes 'Hey Eddie, can you give me a lift up the police station, the wife's taken the kid', that was it." In keeping with their delicate approach, a member of Chapman's team then addressed Langdon to explain that Que was now with his mother. "[We told him] the mum's got her, she's just picked her up they've taken off, I can tell you that Que's safe, she's in the mother's care, the lawyers will be contacting you and Que will be in contact sometime in the next 48 hours so you can have a chat with her as well, please try to relax." Child recovery was in the international spotlight last year when a 60 Minutes team including host Tara Brown were detained and charged after a botched recovery operation in Lebanon. The crew spent two weeks in prison before they returned to Australia. Chapman has a strong personal connection to recovering children. His own daughter was abducted, as well as his six brothers. Chapman's parents left their respective marriages in England after an affair, taking each of their three children with them to Australia.
[We tell them to] wear the same clothes the kids are familiar with, take along some favourite treats, it's all about relaxing and reassuring the child.Tactics and techniques for ensuring a successful recovery can change with each individual case, Chapman says. "We always try and do it in a passive way where the mother or father picks up the child, sometimes it is a bit of a shock. [We tell them to] wear the same clothes the kids are familiar with, take along some favourite treats, it's all about relaxing and reassuring the child. "We do this not just as a job, but as a passion." Chapman revealed some of the tactics involved with recovering abducted children were employing the services of honey traps to locate the parent they had travelled with, and find out where they were staying. "So you abduct a kid, you come from Vietnam and you take the kid back to Vietnam, we find out everything about you," he said. "You might like blondes, you might like brunettes you might like boobs, you might like butts, we got them... we'll put her in front of you for a week or two, she'll bump into you, trust me you won't miss her, and you'll start up a friendship, you'll text, you'll email, you'll start up a friendship... and at some stage she takes your boy or your girl to McDonald's, or down to the park, and then you get a phone call from me." Chapman's work has taken him all over the world, including to Algeria where he was held up at gunpoint while trying to recover Northland woman Mihi Puriri's three children from her estranged husband - professional boxer Mohamad Azzaoui - in 2012. He empathises with parents who are upset when their children are taken off them, but rejects claims that his involvement has a negative impact on the relationships between parents and their children. "It doesn't sound nice, particularly if you're the poor bugger we've just done because we've stung you, you've been embarrassed, you've been made a fool of. We have people say 'Congratulations, b******'. "Whereas where we get involved, in 90 per cent of cases we're taken the child back to a Hague Convention country like NZ or Australia... all the western-style courts which insist on shared care. "People have all these opinions on our involvement, [that it] leads to something worse... our involvement leads to something better."