Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Canadian, Indian Tourists Robbed in Penang at Knife-point

An estimated ten suspects robbed a Canadian and an Indian in separate incidents within a two-hour period on on Monday (January 23) in Tanjung Bungah, a suburb of the island of Penang [Malaysia].

The tourists and their respective families had just checked out of their hotels when the gang converged on them and robbed them at knife-point.

In the first incident, the suspects men stole two gold chains and a pearl necklace from the Indian family before escaping.

In the second robbery, a Canadian mother was walking along the bus stop in front of her hotel with her family when the gang cornered them and similarly snatched their gold chains and pendants from their necks.

COMMENT: The combined losses to the two families was US$3,200.

As I have cautioned our readers in other postings, foreign travelers and tourists of all nationalities should AVOID wearing jewelry, watches, necklaces, bracelets, pendants and earrings, particularly gold or appearing to be gold, when visiting developing countries.

I normally suggest that all jewelry from home be left there in a safe place; men and women alike should wear an INEXPENSIVE athletic watch, preferably with dual-time features. Doing so will significantly reduce one's risk of being robbed.

Alternatively, buy and wear inexpensive local jewelry while traveling. While stunning, attractive and interesting, local criminals know it has little value.

As a matter of interest, I have a nice watch I wear at home for business meetings, but when I go abroad, I never take it. My choice? An inexpensive Casio with rubber band that serves as a stop-watch, time piece (including dual-time), and alarm.

The most recent tourist attraction in Tanjung Bungah is the Floating Mosque, which was built at a cost of 15 million Malaysian ringgit (US$5 million) and completed in 2005. The Penang Toy Museum is also another popular tourist attraction.

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