Saturday, November 24, 2012

Israel: Alleged Rape, Larceny of French Tourist, 21, in Tel Aviv Influenced by Poor Choices

As most of our regular readers know all too well, many tourists and travelers become crime victims abroad not so much because they've made bad choices, but simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

This is NOT one of those cases.

Last week, a young French tourist, 21, began conversing with her seat-mate on a flight to Tel Aviv from France. Chatting at length on the flight, the two travelers mutually agreed to rent a hotel room together to economize on their respective travel costs. Not good.

After making one bad choice of agreeing to share a hotel room with a perfect stranger of the opposite gender, the Frenchwoman erred again by accepting a "sleeping pill" from the man to "help her sleep."

Unfortunately, what she was given by her new room-mate was not a "sleeping pill," but obviously a "date-rape" drug designed to immobilize her. 

The next morning she discovered that when she woke up, she was completely naked and her gregarious room-mate gone, as was her mobile phone, her iPad and all of her other valuables.

COMMENT: Tel Aviv police have surmised that the innocent young woman was duped by her room-mate's friendliness and chatty demeanor and raped and robbed.

Having told his victim that he would be in Tel Aviv a week, fortuitously the police intercepted and arrested the man on Thursday (November 22) before he could board a flight back to France.

Although the victim in this case has filed charges against her assailant, there are several lessons to be learned from this incident, particularly for young adults traveling solo: 

1. When traveling abroad, it is wise not to be too-trusting of  strangers, however friendly they may be, as the victimization of travelers is a common occurrence;

2. NEVER agree to share a guest-room with a perfect stranger, particularly someone of the opposite gender, however tempting the opportunity; 

3. NEVER accept any medication from a perfect stranger; 

4. ALWAYS register your trip abroad with your respective foreign affairs agency; and

5. ALWAYS carry the phone number of your embassy or consulate in the country in which you are traveling in.