Saturday, December 3, 2011

Series of Reported Crimes Against Tourists in Nha Trang

On November 29, a Russian tourist was walking in front of a hotel in Nha Trang (Vietnam) when a youth on motorbike passed her quickly and snatched her handbag containing a mobile phone, 1,600 Russian rubles (51US$), US$1,500, a camera, and two gold necklaces. Subsequently, police arrested the suspect.

Later the same day, a British tourist was riding on bicycle in Nha Trang when two young men snatched away her handbag with a camera inside. After hearing shouts for help, police arrived while the crime was in progress and arrested the two suspects.

On November 21, also in Nha Trang, an Irish tourist, 23, had her bag snatched by three women while she was on her way back to a hotel after celebrating her birthday party at the beachfront Sailing Club. When the three suspects found no money in the victim's bag, they proceeded to assault the Irishwoman, forcing her to the ground.

A day later, November 22, an Australian tourist, 30, and her sister, who had just arrived in Nha Trang, reported to police that she had her iPhone 4 stolen from two cyclo drivers.

COMMENT: During the first two weeks six tourists from Russia were reportedly robbed, one of whom was hit in the face by a group of men trying to grab her handbag while she was walking on the beach with a friend.

Even though Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist hot-spots and well-known for pristine beaches and excellent scuba diving and snorkeling, tourists visiting Nha Trang should be prepared for the worst. This includes: (1) carrying a photocopy of your photo page of your passport and a photocopy of your entry stamp into Vietnam; (2) carrying your passport in a zippered cloth sleeve under your garments; (3) carrying little cash; (4) leaving the expensive smart-phone at home and buying a cheap unlocked, quad-band cell phone for use abroad; (5) avoid pedicabs and motorized cyclos and use reliable taxis, particularly those that work from good hotels; (6) use a digital camera you can carry in your pocket; (7) avoid carrying a purse or tote bag; and (8) be observant of men or women observing you and avoid them; (9) rather than venturing out on your own, use organized tours that have a fixed-fee; (10) If your pocketbook can afford it, stay in a good hotel that has better security for your belongings; (11) wear NO jewelry that cannot be replaced, including watches and wedding rings; and (12) report all incidents of robbery, theft or assault to local police and obtain a copy of the police report in your language. If need be, pay to have it translated.

Do not resist local criminals. They often work in groups and do fight back.

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