Friday, January 3, 2014

Egypt: Swiss Couple Murdered, Buried on the Grounds of Their Home in Hurghada

According to AFP, preliminary investigation has revealed that two Swiss citizens, a man and his wife, were killed by the residential guard and two of his friends who wanted to rob the couple.

After murdering the couple, the assailants buried them on the grounds of their own home.

From all indications, the couple had been living in Hurghada for some time and went missing roughly a week ago, perhaps longer.

The remains of the Swiss couple were transferred to Hurghada's general hospital. A local official at the hospital told AFP that the corpses were already beginning to decay.

Since the 1980s, the city has been continually enlarged by Egyptian and foreign investors to become the leading seashore resort on the Red Sea. Holiday villages and hotels provide aquatic sport facilities for sailboarders, yachtsmen, scuba divers and snorkelers. Hurghada stretches for about 36 kilometers (22 miles) along the seashore, and it does not reach far into the surrounding desert. Today Hurghada is a city of 248,000 inhabitants. The City is served by Hurghada International Airport with scheduled passenger service to Cairo and several European cities. 

COMMENT: As I have urged so often in my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD, "it is essential that all expats that hire local guards, nannies, gardeners, cooks, etc., ensure that a local criminal history check of all staff is conducted through the national police so as to not give local criminals an opportunity to engage in foul play."

Additionally, local staff should be well-treated and cared for to the point of providing them protection from the elements, refreshments, etc. Otherwise, local staff may well turn to crime against their employers.

On Friday (January 3) the Swiss Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of two Swiss citizens in Egypt, saying it did not have immediate details on their deaths, according to Switzerland's ATS news agency.

The fact that the couple were unknown to the Swiss Foreign Ministry suggests that the couple never registered at the Swiss Embassy in Cairo, which is strongly advised for all expats living abroad as not registering could exclude foreigners from being considered for permissive or hostile evacuation from Egypt.

Additionally, by not knowing of their existence in the country, the Swiss Embassy might not known to call them in the event of a family emergency back home.