Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kenya: Four Tourists Victimized in Mombasa, Never Leave Valuables in Guest-Rooms

According to http://www.allafrica.com, police in Mombasa are looking for at least two Kenyan suspects said to have stolen goods and cash worth more than Sh400,000 (US$4,560) stolen from four foreign tourists at Tulia House and Camp in Mombasa earlier in the week.
Majed Delpisheh, 53, and his wife, Marziyeh Gholami, 35, had a laptop, a camera charger and a flash drive stolen from their guest room totaling Sh140,000 (US$1,596).
Also, a Spanish couple Igor Pascual and Sara Martín had two cameras, two mobile phones, an iPad, a tablet and a Spanish passport stolen that were worth an estimated Sh283,000 (US$3,226). 
COMMENT: After living abroad for some 30+ years, residing in eight countries and traveling to 65 others, it is safe to say that I've learned a good bit about how to travel safely abroad, particularly as it relates to protecting your "stuff."

Thus, I'd like to share with you what I've learned in all that time:

1. There is no "safe" country. Criminals can be found everywhere that you find vulnerable people who...don't pay attention to details;


2. If possible, stay in secure accommodations that include the following:

-- If your budget permits, stay in three star to five star properties;

-- Stay between the third and sixth floors;

-- Ensure that there is a safe-deposit box system in the lobby; some SD systems can actually accommodate larger items, so reserve boxes in advance;

-- Don't use "in-room" safes;

-- Don't leave valuables in plain view;

-- Never have more than $100 in local currency at any given time;


3. Always use an ATM card for cash withdrawals, you'll save a fair amount of money;


4. If you're carrying lots of cash, go to a bank and have it converted to a bank draft in your name;


5. Never use street-installed ATMs; criminals watch them all the time;


6. If you have rented a vehicle, ensure that you have full coverage, including contents; Don't leave valuables in plain view; 

7. Drink in moderation. If you're impaired, you'll make irreversible mistakes;  and

8. Consider insuring all of your electronic devices through:

http://www.safeware.com; and

9. Always bring a well-used backpack that can safely accommodate lots of gear, as "laptop cases" are on every criminal's "to-do" list.

All foreign travelers to Kenya should be also be AWARE that according to the US Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), Nairobi is designated as "Critical" threat for both crime and transnational terrorism, the highest level of threat on the Department's four-tier threat categorization system of "Critical, High, Medium and Low" threat.