Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Japanese Tourist, 66, Robbed of P80,000, Abducted Briefly in Manila

Sereiji Hiroshi, 66, a Japanese tourist, was robbed of P80,000 (US$1,858) at approximately 1630 hours and briefly abducted and later released him on Monday afternoon (January 30). Mr. Hiroshi was abducted outside of the Robinson Mall in Metro Manila.

COMMENT: Hiroshi was apparently walking alone along a street near the mall when two gunmen in a van brandished their weapons and abducted him.

After relieving him of his money, the gunmen dropped him off near the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. At that point, the victim hailed a taxi and returned to his hotel. Strangely, he did report the crime to police until the following day.

Travelers and tourists alike are reminded that the armed robbery of foreigners is a common occurrence in Manila; carrying large amounts of cash (e..g., anything over US$100) is very risky.

From all indications, it appears that the criminals in this case just got lucky that their victim of the day would be carrying nearly US$2,000 in local currency.

As I've mentioned in the past, it is unwise to be observed cashing a large amount of money in public view, which is why I normally suggest that visitors rely heavily on ATMs, where they can withdraw small amounts of cash as needed. The use of ATMs accessible to public streets is a bad idea.

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