Friday, November 30, 2012

New Zealand: Assailants Who Attacked, Robbed French Tourists Forced to Accept Responsibility

As a follow-up to my July 9, posting concerning the assault and robbery of two French hitchhikers, both 21, in the Papamoa area when the two victims were picked up by a vehicle with two male occupants, are now having to accept responsibility for their actions.

Defendant Che Bridger, 24, has pleaded not guilty in the attack on the two Frenchmen, while Bo-Tamati Rawiri, 26, from Ngraruwahia, has already pleaded guilty to the charges and will appear in the Tauranga District Court on December 5 for sentencing. Both men have been in custody since July.

The two French tourists were hitchhiking from Tauranga to Rotorua when they were picked up by Bridger and Rawiri on the afternoon of July 7, after which they were driven to an abandoned Shell service station on State Highway 2 near Welcome Bay Road in Papamoa where they were allegedly beaten and robbed and had their packs, clothing, passports and cash and money stolen.

COMMENT: As I have said on numerous occasions in the past, New Zealand is not a low-risk destination, as demonstrated by my numerous postings over the last two years. 

Visitors must have a keen sense of personal security awareness and deliberately take action that will reduce their vulnerability to violent crime.

Although many visitors do hitch-hike to save money, it is not recommended, given the large number of visitors who have been victimized in the past.

Additionally, many violent crimes occur late at night and after midnight, which is why I urge even the immortal to not walk at night, particularly alone. 

UAE: Abduction, Rape of British Expat Illustrates Justice Abroad Can Be Elusive

On July 6, 2012, a British expat, 28, employed by a Dubai-based company stopped by  the city's Rock Bottom Cafe in Regent Palace Hotel, where she consumed a number of glasses of wine.

As most of our regular readers know, I don't subscribe to the notion that expats drink alone while abroad, largely because foreigners, particularly those who are alone, are often taken advantage of. This applies to both men and women equally. 

I should also mention that the use of "date-rape" drugs are regularly used by opportunists worldwide whereby they surreptitiously drug their targets, although in this case there was no evidence of that.

The young woman, now severely impaired by drinking, hailed a taxi to return to her home. She was subsequently picked up by a Pakistani driver, 37, who noticed that she had been drinking. Shortly thereafter she fell asleep in back of the car.

Midway to her destination, the woman asked the driver to take her to another location, which he did.  She asked the driver to take her to an ATM, which he also did. Perhaps because of her condition, she returned to the taxi without any cash at which point she attempted to sit in the front driver's seat.

The driver, taken aback by the woman's action,and now realizing that she was very impaired, immediately removed his keys from the ignition to prevent the young woman from driving his vehicle. 

Simultaneously, A red Hyundai then pulled over and three young Iranian men in their 20s approached the driver, telling him they knew the woman, at which time they proceeded to pay the woman's taxi fare and take the British woman with them. 

COMMENT: By now, it is clear that the expat's stopping off for a few drinks after work quickly placed her into a high-risk environment that was well beyond her control, particularly given her impairment.  

The three men then took the woman to an apartment in Naif, whereby all three men took turns raping the indefensible woman.

This week, in court, the victim testified that she made repeated attempts to escape from the three men, but to no avail. She also testified that she remembers her assailants filming her while she was being raped. Her rapists dropped her off where she could get a taxi home.

Unfortunately, the victim did not report her victimization to her flat-mate, a Frenchwoman, 26, until the NEXT DAY, who told her not to shower or brush her teeth in order to retain physical evidence. Subsequently, her room-mate drove her to the local police station to report the incident.

By waiting until the next day, a blood test revealed that there was no evidence of alcohol in the victim's bloodstream. 

Two of her three assailants were arrested the day after the rape, which offered them ample opportunity to remove any of the woman's DNA from them.

N0t surprisingly, the two defendants, both 20, denied the rape charge,  accused the victim of fabricating the story that she was raped by her assailants and pleaded not guilty. The case has been continued until December 12.

Although this incident will be updated as new information becomes available, my suggestions to all foreigners include:

1. If you're planning on having more than one drink, TAKE a friend with you;

2. Always let a room-mate, friend or family know where you are;

3. Always carry the 24-hour after-hours number of your embassy or consulate on your speed-dialer on your mobile phone;

4. Never permit yourself to become severely impaired while alone;

5. Make the effort to build a network of expat friends in the community, so that you have a "dedicated driver," if you plan to drink;

6. Don't assume that all locals you encounter in the Middle East has your interests and welfare at heart. They don't;

7. If you are hurt or victimized, call your embassy or consulate immediately and seek advice;

8. After calling your embassy or consulate, call a close friend who can help you;

9. If you are hurt or victimized, report the matter to local police promptly;

10. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, don't shower, brush your teeth or wash;

11. Don't assume in the Middle East that you will be treated compassionately in the court system. You won't; and

12. Don't assume that your assailants will receive heavy prison terms. They won't; and

13. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, don't make any serious decisions until you have had an opportunity to seek the counsel of close friends and family.

Botswana: Big Game Hunting To Be Banned in 2014

According to a statement announced by the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism yesterday (November 29), President Ian Khama has announced that big-game hunting will be banned in 2014, given the significant reductions of large animal wildlife herds.  

The Ministry qualified, though, that hunts by local communities and those with special hunting licenses would still be allowed.
COMMENT: It is unknown as to what economic impact the elimination of big-game hunting in Botswana will have on foreign currency generation.

After thorough research, it has been determined that it is not licensed hunts that have caused wildlife herds to drop so dramatically, but rather domestic poachers who slay animals for food as well as transnational syndicates who have the greatest impact on dwindling herds.

Time will only tell whether permitting the government to issue "special hunting licenses" domestically will bolster wildlife herds.

In actuality, transnational poachers using hi-tech equipment will no doubt continue to out-maneuver governmental anti-poaching units that do not have the resources and funds to counter their efforts.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Eritrea: US Department of State Urges US Citizens Against All Travel

The US Department of State continues to warn American citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and strongly recommends US citizens defer all travel to the country.  

The Eritrean government continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals.  These restrictions require all visitors and residents, including US diplomats, to apply TEN days in advance for permission to travel outside Asmara's city limits.  Permission is rarely granted.  

As a result, the US Embassy is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara.

A number of Eritrean-US dual citizens have been arrested and some are currently being held for no reason.  Once arrested, detainees may be held for extended periods of time without being told the reason for their incarceration. Conditions are harsh – those incarcerated may be held in very small quarters without access to restrooms, bedding, food, or clean water.  

The Eritrean government does not inform the US Embassy when US citizens, including those who are not dual nationals, have been arrested or detained.  Should the US Embassy learn of the arrest of a US citizen, the Eritrean government rarely allows consular access, regardless of the reason the US citizen is being held.

US citizens are cautioned to carry appropriate documentation with them at all times.  Those not carrying documentation of their identity and military status may be subject to round-ups, sometimes by armed persons. US citizens are advised to exercise caution around armed persons.

The Eritrean government-controlled media frequently broadcasts anti-US rhetoric, and has done so repeatedly since December 2009, when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) first imposed sanctions on Eritrea.  Anti-US messages scripted by the current regime, which often appear as cover stories in the only English-language state-run newspaper in Eritrea, have grown even stronger since UNSC sanctions were strengthened in December 2011. 

Although there have been no specific incidents of violence targeting US citizens, US citizens are urged to exercise caution, stay current with media coverage of local events, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. 

US citizens are strongly advised to avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and the Southern Red Sea region.  US citizens should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and of political and military tensions between the two countries.  On March 15, 2012, Ethiopian troops attacked three locations approximately 10 miles inside Eritrean territory.  On January 16, 2012, a group of tourists was attacked in Ethiopia not far from the Eritrean-Ethiopian border.  Five tourists were killed and four others kidnapped.  In May 2010, thirteen people were injured when a bomb exploded on a bus just over the border in Ethiopia.  In April 2010, a bomb near the border in Ethiopia killed five people and injured 20. In January and February 2010, skirmishes between Eritrean and Ethiopian troops resulted in military fatalities. 

Although Eritrean forces have withdrawn from disputed territory at the border with Djibouti, tensions in this area remain high. 

US citizens on ships and sailing vessels are strongly advised not to sail off the Eritrean coast nor to attempt to dock in Eritrean ports or travel through Eritrean waters. US citizens are also urged to avoid remote Eritrean islands, some of which may be used for Eritrean military training and could therefore be unsafe.  The Eritrean government does not issue visas to persons arriving by marine vessel.  Additionally, fuel and provisions are often unavailable in Massawa and other parts of Eritrea, and are often scarce in the capital city of Asmara.

In April 2012, the Yemeni government reported that three Yemeni sailors continue to be held in Eritrean prisons three years after their boat inadvertently sailed into Eritrean waters.  Yemen also reported at the end of March 2012 that Eritrean boats had attacked four Yemeni fishing boats in international waters.  In February 2012, a US company reported that two of its vessels were seized by Eritrean authorities in the Port of Massawa, where they had sought assistance after one vessel was distressed while off the Eritrean coast.  To date, neither vessels nor crew have been released.   In December 2010, a British ship attempting to refuel in Massawa was detained by Eritrean authorities, and its crew of four was held without consular access for six months before being released.  There are reports of additional vessels carrying nationals from other countries being detained for several months.  In nearly all cases, the Eritrean government has neither given a reason for detention nor granted consular access.  The port of Assab is closed to private marine vessels.

In August 2011, three separate incidents of piracy were reported off the Eritrean coast near the port of Assab.  High-speed skiffs with armed persons on board continue to attack merchant vessels.  If transit around the Horn of Africa is necessary, vessels should travel in convoys, maintain good communications contact at all times, and follow the guidance provided by the Maritime Security Center – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA). 

Landmines and unexploded ordnance remain a serious problem throughout the country.  There are reports of accidents and incidents in which vehicles or people occasionally detonate mines.  Many detonations occurred on relatively well-traveled roads in and near the Gash Barka region of western Eritrea; subsequent investigations indicated that several mines were recently laid.  In September 2011, press reported that a vehicle in Senafe, 60 miles south of Asmara, ran over a landmine; five people were killed and another 34 injured in the incident.  Vast areas of the country still have not been certified free of mines and unexploded ordnance following the 30-year war for independence and the subsequent 1998-2000 conflict with Ethiopia.  You should avoid walking alone and hiking in riverbeds or areas that local government officials have not certified as safe.

US citizens choosing to travel to Eritrea despite this Travel Warning must obtain an Eritrean visa before their arrival.  Persons arriving in Eritrea without a visa are generally refused admission and returned on the next flight back to their point of origin.  However, the Embassy is aware of persons being jailed for several months after arriving without a visa.  The Embassy urges Eritrean-US dual citizens to obtain an Eritrean visa in their U.S. passport before travelling to Eritrea and to enter the country as US citizens.  Eritrean-US dual citizens who enter Eritrea with an Eritrean ID card may find it difficult to obtain the required visa to legally exit the country.  The Embassy is aware of numerous cases where dual Eritrean-US citizens have not been permitted to leave the country. The Embassy cautions travelers not to stay beyond the period of time granted at the time of admission by Eritrean Immigration.  

Crime in Asmara has increased as a result of deteriorating economic conditions accompanied by persistent food, water, and fuel shortages, and rapid price inflation.  The combination of forced, open-ended, low-paying, national service for many Eritreans and severe unemployment leads some Eritreans to commit crime to support their families.  Eritrean authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate crime or prosecute perpetrators. 

Modern telecommunications options are limited in Eritrea and cannot be counted upon in an emergency.  International cell phone service plans do not work on Eritrean networks.  Local cellular phone service is tightly controlled by the Eritrean government and difficult to obtain.  When available, international cell phone calls are extremely expensive and only available using pre-paid minutes.  Internet cafés are scarce and hours are limited.  Internet service is limited and slow, and generally does not support Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype.

Belize: Little Progress Made in Shooting Death of US Expat Greg Faull, John McAfee Gets a Free Pass

COMMENT: As a follow-up to my postings of November 13, 15, 20 and 23, it seems clear that there has been little progress in the shooting death of American expatriate Greg Faull, 53, who was killed in his home on November 11, by an assailant who discharged a single round from a 9mm semi-auto pistol into Mr. Faull's head. 

The shooting occurred near the town of San Pedro.

Strangely, the only items of value taken from his home by the American's assailant was his laptop and iPhone, suggesting that his killer was most concerned with email communications.

It is also noteworthy that there was no evidence of forced entry and that Mr. Faull was shot from behind, which could suggest that his assailant was known to him. It is also possible that physical evidence left behind might well have included powder burns.

Even though Faull was shot and killed on November 11, local police have released NO details stemming from the victim's autopsy.

It is also fascinating to point out that since the middle of November there has virtually been no media coverage on Faull's murder, other than the lack of success on the part of local cops to find McAfee so that he can be questioned.

Since the victim's time of death, Belizean police have been unable to find former anti-virus CEO John McAfee, 67, who has eluded police investigators, despite the fact that McAfee's compound is well-known to local authorities, as were his many bodyguards, the latter of whom were obviously cognizant of McAfee's local haunts and hangouts.

At this point, McAfee has been reported to have used disguises to evade police, even though he has to their prime person of interest in Faull's death, considering that the victim had an ongoing dispute with his neighbor's [McAfee] over the latter's dozen barking dogs.

Ironically, less than two days before Mr. Faull was shot and killed, four of McAfee's dogs were poisoned to death by unknown persons.

Having worked most of my life as a criminal investigator abroad, I personally find it incredible that Belizean police cannot find McAfee, given the vast amount of information they have hopefully assembled on him.

Clearly, Mr. Faull's family deserves final closure as to who was responsible for his death and their need for justice, which, at the moment, is increasingly elusive.

Needless to say, the longer McAfee endeavors to avoid Belizean authorities, the worst it looks for him.

Pakistan: Kidnapped Ophthalmologist Released After Payment of Ransom

Renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Saeed Khan, who was kidnapped on October 16, while driving home from a local hospital in Quetta, was released by his captors on Wednesday (November 28) after the successful payment of a ransom, the amount of which was not mentioned, although it is assumed that it was a significant sum. 
Dr. Saeed said his captors moved him from location to location during his captivity and drugged him to manage control. Unlike many kidnap victims, the physician was given only bread and water by his kidnappers.
COMMENT: As with most ransom kidnappings in Pakistan, rarely are police authorities involved, largely because of a lack of trust.
Dr. Saeed’s abduction generated a Balochistan-wide strike by doctors against governmental ineffectiveness. Despite his release, though, doctors vowed to continue their strike, pointing out that the physician was released only after the payment of a ransom, no thanks to the central government.

For security reasons, it may never be known what the amount of the ransom payment was nor who paid it.

Pakistanis kidnapped in the country tend to be kidnapped for money while foreigners tend to be abducted for political reasons.

Unfortunately, the risk of kidnapping of influential Pakistanis as well as foreigners working for NGOs is very high, both in rural and urban environments.

Considering that many diplomatic missions rely heavily on ballistic-resistant vehicles to transport their employees around the country, Pakistanis of means and NGO workers in particular are at considerable risk if they don't utilize vehicles similarly protected.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yemen: Saudi Military Attaché, Bodyguard Gunned Down in Capital

According to Reuters, Yemeni officials report that a Saudi military attaché as well as his Yemeni bodyguard were gunned down and killed in the capital of Sana'a early on Wednesday (November 28).

The attaché was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in the capital. The assailants opened fired upon the two victims with automatic weapons, who were traveling in the diplomat's vehicle. Elements of al-Qaeda are suspected. The attack occurred in Hada, the city's diplomatic enclave.

Meanwhile, Saudi Deputy Consul Abdullah al-Khalidi remains a hostage, after being kidnapped back on March 28, some eight months ago. It is unknown as to when the Saudis last confirmed that the consul was alive.

COMMENT: Tactically, it makes little sense for Saudi diplomats to be afforded a single protective escort, considering that almost all kidnappings and assassinations are conducted by multiple gunmen.

Quite frankly, a lone bodyguard cannot be expected to repel an armed attack when he is simultaneously serving as a driver of the diplomat. The end result is that two people lose their lives instead of one, particularly in a high-risk environment such as Yemen.

South Africa: British Couple Attacked by Assailants Wielding Machetes Near Ficksburg

British expatriate Christopher Preece, 54, and his wife, Felicity, 56,  were attacked by three assailants wielding machetes on Saturday night (November 24) on the couple's farm, Fleur des Lys,  near Ficksburg, not far from the border with Lesotho.

Tragically, Mr. Preece bled to death from his wounds while Felicity sustained a fractured skull. She has been hospitalized, although severely traumatized.

The couple's assailants had carefully planned the attack, as they had first poisoned the couple's large pack of guard dogs before cutting the electricity to their residence. 

Preece was investigating why his electricity had  been interrupted when the attack occurred. Presumably, his attackers cut the power to bring him out into the dark, where he was fatally killed.

COMMENT: First of all, our condolences and sympathies go out to the British couple and their respective families.

Sadly, the couple was attacked over $350 and a mobile phone.

No arrests have been made in the case.

It should be noted that more than 3,000 white farmers have been killed in their homes in South Africa since 1994; this is the fifth such attack and second homicide in the district in the past month. 

As I have said on numerous occasions in the past, expatriate living in high-risk developing nations is satisfying and rewarding ONLY if expats are able to put into place security deterrents designed to afford them effective physical protection.

It is unknown as to whether Mr. Preece initially confronted his assailants or whether he was summarily attacked without provocation.

One critical lesson-learned in this case is that guard dogs should ALWAYS be kept indoors to prevent them from being poisoned, as they are much more effective when they can give their owners an alarm that something is amiss outside the home. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bolivia: Interior Ministry Lawyer, Five Others Arrested for Soliciting Bribe from Jailed US Businessman

According to the Interior Ministry, a senior government attorney and five other officials were arrested on Monday (November 27) on charges that they demanded US$50,000 from New York City businessman Jacob Ostreicher, 53, who was arrested by Bolivian authorities in June 2011 on money-laundering AND has yet to be tried in a court of law, albeit archaic. 

COMMENT: Please review my previous postings of September 24, 2011, December 31, 2011, May 14, 2012, May 19, 2012 and August 9, 2012 for background.

Ostreicher came to Bolivia in 2008, to start a rice plantation in the eastern province of Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, he failed to conduct adequate due diligence on the people he was working with, resulting in his being jailed in June 2011.

As an example of what the criminal justice system is like in Bolivia, the Interior Ministry's director of legal affairs in the Interior Ministry, Fernando Rivera, overseeing Ostreicher's case, was arrested on Monday as a result of his attempting to extort US$50,000 from the jailed American.

To make matters worse, Mr. Ostreicher has been in police custody most of the last 18 months without being charged or prosecuted, although as a sufferer of Parkinson's disease, he has been treated most recently in a Santa Cruz clinic.

Although the US Embassy in La Paz has reportedly been "following Ostreicher's case very closely for the last 18 months," the embassy's efforts have failed to resolve the American's plight or even bring legal nonfeasance to the attention of his Congressional representatives in Washington.

Given Rivera's arrest and complicity in soliciting a bribe from the American, by now the Embassy should have called in some "markers" to pressure the Bolivian government to either immediately prosecute Ostreicher or release him and permit him to go home to his family. He has surely suffered enough.

As I have often said to American citizens traveling, working and living abroad, if you get into a legal jam, depend SOLELY on your own resources, as getting help from one's diplomatic representatives can prove to be very, very elusive, if not impossible.

Latin America: China Has Invested US$68 Billion in Brazil Since 2007

The Buenos Aires-based business publication, Clarín, according to a study by the Brazil-China Business Council, 44 Chinese companies, both public and private, have invested US$68.4 billion in Brazil between 2007 and 2012. Of that amount, US$24.4 billion of the investments are for projects that are still under development. 

Bi-lateral investments include 60 projects related to natural resources, raw materials, services, mining, oil and technology. Trade between both Brazil and China reached US$78 billion this year [2012] and is estimated to increase.

Examples of such investments include the Chinese company, Sany, which will invest US$200 million in a factory that will produce paving equipment. Changan International has also invested in the construction of an automotive factory, set to initially produce 50,000 vehicles a year in 2014 and which will later reach production of 120,000 units per year.

COMMENT: While the US has permitted itself to get bogged down in a ten-year military quagmire in both Iraq and Afghanistan, China stands to gain a significant foothold in Latin America.

Honduras: Cuban-Born Engineer Murdered by Gunmen, Ostensibly Because He Refused to Pay Protection Money

According to EFE, Israel Antonio Labrado, a Cuban-born engineer who worked for a sugar company in the northern province of Yoro was murdered on Sunday (November 25), by two gunmen at his home in La Guacamaya, just 24 miles from San Pedro Sula, the most violent city in the world in 2011.

Police suspect that Labrado, who also ran a home-based business, may have been murdered because he refused to pay protection money to one of the many gangs that regularly extort money from local businesspeople.

COMMENT: Regarding the murder of Mr. Labrado, by living in the shadows of San Pedro Sula, he would have been well-advised to pay protection money to local gangs, considering that Honduras borders on being a lawless society.

Those visiting Honduras are reminded that roughly 15% of all crimes in the country result in an arrest.

According to the México-based Civic Council on Public Security and Criminal Justice, San Pedro Sula, with a population of 719,000, had a murder rate of 159 per 100,000 population in 2011, rendering it the most violent city in the world. 

Surprisingly, San Pedro Sula's homicide rate even surpassed the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juaréz with a murder rate of 148 per 100,000.

Honduras’s 2011 homicide rate of 92 murders per 100,000 people was one of the highest in the world, according to the United Nations. About 18 violent deaths occur in the Central American country daily, according to figures compiled by the National Police and human rights groups. 

Interestingly, five of the world's ten most murderous cities last year were in México; 45 of 50 were in the Western Hemisphere. Other Mexican cities in the top 10 included Acapulco, with 128 killings per 100,000 residents, Torreón (88), Chihuahua (83) and Durango (80).

Although the United States is typically is perceived as being one of the most violent countries on Earth, in actuality, only four US cities are ranked among the world's 50 most violent cities:  New Orleans (57) homicides per 100,000 residents), Detroit (48), St. Louis (35) and Baltimore (31).

Nationwide, Honduras is rated as the most dangerous country in the world,   with 82 killings per 100,000 inhabitants. It was followed by El Salvador (66) and Jamaica (52), largely because of population density.

Even though Honduras is rated as having the highest homicide rate in the world, it is possible for tourists and travelers to have an uneventful visit, PROVIDING that they DON'T RESIST criminals' demands and give them what they want.

Those that DO resist are almost universally killed without hesitation.

New Zealand: Human Carnage Continues on Kiwi Roadways, A Dangerous Place to Drive

Kok Wei Ko, 26, a Singaporean engineer visiting New Zealand with his family has admitted responsibility for the death of an elderly New Zealander who was killed in a head-on collision on State Highway 1 near Clinton on November 13, largely because Ko was passing on a double-yellow line.

Last week, Ko appeared in court to account for five charges arising from the head-on collision near Kuriwao, east of Clinton. Through his defense counsel, Ko admitted causing the death of Neville Westbrooke Squires and injury to Michelle Squires, Yauen Loy, Shu Juan Lee and Bing Yao Lim by driving in a dangerous manner.
Ko was convicted and remanded on bail for pre-sentence and reparation reports and for sentencing on December 5.
Mr. Squires was the front-seat passenger in a Mercedes car being driven south by his daughter, Michelle Squires, about 1310 hours. At the same time, defendant Ko was driving north with three passengers in a rented Toyota Rav 4 in which they had been traveling since arriving in New Zealand nine days earlier.
The Toyota had been following a large truck for a short distance when Ko pulled out to overtake on a section of road marked with no-passing lines.
Michelle Squires was flown to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter. She had a fractured rib that punctured her lung, a fractured lower leg and a sprained wrist.
The three passengers in the Toyota were also injured.
Yauen Loy, the left rear passenger, was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital, where she had surgery for a laceration to the pancreas that was causing internal bleeding.
The right rear passenger, Shu Juan Lee, was also airlifted to Dunedin. She had a dislocated and fractured right hip and leg injuries and has since returned to Singapore for medical treatment.
Bing Yao Lim, the front-seat passenger in the Toyota, was taken to Dunedin Hospital by ambulance. He had fractures to his left foot and his lower lumbar spine.

COMMENT: As I have mentioned in the case of so many accidents occurring in New Zealand of late, most of them involving fatalities, foreigners seriously underestimate the risks involved in renting cars there. 

First of all, driving is on the LEFT, not the right, which immediately puts many foreign drivers at risk of an accident. 

Second, two-way country roadways dominate the landscape. Third, slow-moving lorries, livestock, commercial vehicles further complicate the roads. 

And finally, so many foreign drivers fail to realize just how long it takes to overcome the negative influences of jet-lag, which can take up the better part of two weeks.

All and all, I strongly discourage foreigners from right-hand drive nations renting cars in NZ unless they are experienced in left-hand driving.