Sunday, March 24, 2013

France: Update--Assailants Involved in Mass Robbery of 23 Chinese Tourists Evade Police

According to The Global Times, the Chinese Embassy in Paris said earlier today (March 24) that the assailants responsible for the mass robbery of 23 Chinese tourists robbed shortly after they had dinner (following their arrival at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport) on March 20 continue to evade Paris police.

The victims, from East China's Jiangsu Province, were robbed while dining at a restaurant near the airport. At least four of the robbers carried out the robbery, stealing passports, airline tickets and cash held by the tour group's guide, who was injured.

COMMENT: As I have noted in recent years, armed robbery, not to mention violent crime, continues to rise in Western Europe, including France.

The causation for much of this crime is attributed to the economic plight that many European countries now face, given their linkage to the euro, and the fact that so many  countries have high unemployment coupled with declining wages.

Additionally, such countries as Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus and others are struggling to not default on their loans, as the EU has grown in size in recent years with many countries pulling down the financial base of the euro-zone. 

Although the Chinese tourists have been reissued their travel documents that were stolen during the large-scale robbery, the emotional impact of the incident will no doubt impact on the group as the continue with their trip.

Although it is appropriate for the Chinese Embassy to levy as much pressure on the French government as possible, the reality is that crimes of all categories confront tourists and travelers on a regular basis.

Unless the criminals who robbed the tourists left physical evidence that might be traceable via fingerprints, DNA, etc. or had physical characteristics that were particularly distinctive, it is highly remote that the thieves are still in Paris.  

Although it is fully understood that many Chinese travelers carry cash as they do at home, many Chinese travelers that are new to foreign travel may well have to modify their personal behavior if they hope to avoid being victimized.

Specifically, in contrast to carrying large amounts of cash with which to purchase high-value merchandise, Chinese tourists may very well have to learn to carry travelers' check debit cards or bank cards that can be used at ATMs, so as to eliminate the need to carry large amounts of cash around, thereby being less of a target to criminals.

Although tour group guides may find it easier to carry the personal funds of all travelers from China, the reality is that everyone carrying their own funds individually makes it easier for all travelers to safely conceal their money. Such an approach also is very time-consuming for mass robberies, exposing assailants to apprehension.