Friday, June 6, 2014

Kenya: Lessons-Learned Abound in Abduction, Assault and Robbery of German Tourist in Mombasa

According to http://www.standardmedia.co.ke, a German tourist is recovering from his injuries after being held abducted, attacked and robbed by a gang of thugs in Mombasa after arriving at Moi International Airport early in the morning on Wednesday (June 4).

According to reports, the assailants deliberately rammed the taxi transporting the German national from behind, forcing the driver to stop in the middle of the road.

Police in Mombasa have described Erold Jean Hasert’s assailants, which included a woman, as "opportunists." 

COMMENT: I know that I've discouraged foreign tourists from visiting Kenya in the past, and will continue to do so, yet I remain in awe of foreign travelers who don't keep up on current events and fail to thoroughly research the nations they're traveling to.

Needless to say, the vicious attack on Hasert has sent shudders throughout Kenyan tourist circles that while terrorist attacks are also being planned, tourists remain to speculate whether they may be next.

It is entirely possible that the assailants in this case potentially had advance knowledge that Mr. Hasert was transporting 5,600 Euros (US$7,620.82). On the other hand, it is also possible that the criminals were blessed with a major windfall.

So...let's recap how this terrible event could have been prevented:

1.  Hasert could well have adhered to the travel warnings and avoided Kenya completely;

2. Hasert was injured, yet there was was no reference to the fact that he had subscribed to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before leaving Germany. See http://www.insuremytrip.com;

3. In carrying a laptop and two mobiles to Kenya, Mr. Hasert could have insured his mobiles and his laptop through http://www.safeware.com and potentially saved a few thousand dollars;

4. If I have told travelers a thousand times, don't carry any more than US$100 on your person. There are at least 5,600 euro-based reasons not to do so; and

5. Avoid flight arrivals and departures at high-risk airports during hours of darkness.

Police have denied claims rogue officers were involved in the attack, which is a common occurrence throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ten years ago, a police officer from Mombasa teamed up with a former military officer to rob and kill tourists in Kilifi after they had just left the airport. The two and their accomplices were arrested and sentenced to hang. 

THE STANDARD has established that the German was trailed right from the moment he entered a taxi at the airport and snaked through Mombasa streets towards Shanzu where he was booked in an apartment. 

Sources said the driver unsuccessfully tried to shake off the trailing group. As he approached Shanzu, he was rammed from behind forcing him to stop.