Police officials are investigating a series of armed robberies by criminal gangs that have targeted foreigners in Nairobi. As of early January, German, Italian, and Chinese nationals have been victims of the gangs. Generally, the robberies involve gunmen stealing bank cards, cash, and phones from the victims, and forcing them to provide ATM pin numbers. At times the robberies also become violent. On Sunday, January 6, seven Italian missionaries were robbed at gunpoint along Langata Road. During the incident, one victim was shot in the leg. Similar attacks have occurred in the Kilimani, Kileleshwa, and Mlango Kubwa areas.
Crime rates are very high in urban areas throughout Kenya (e.g. Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu) and at beach resorts. Pickpocketing, assaults (including sexual assault), carjackings, and residential burglaries happen on a regular basis and tend to increase after nightfall. Foreigners are often specifically targeted due to their presumed wealth.
Individuals in Nairobi are advised to adhere to the following recommendations:• Remain vigilant at all times while in public• Minimize travel by foot• Avoid going out after nightfall (when instances of assault and other violent crimes are more common)• Maintain a low profile and avoid any conspicuous dress• Whenever possible, travel with a local guide• Be extremely vigilant at ATMs and when exiting banks• As criminals are often armed, never offer resistance during an attempted robbery; obey all orders given, avoid eye contact and sudden movements, and do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible• To avoid becoming an easy target, vary daily routes to reduce the predictability of your movements• When driving, keep doors locked, windows rolled up, and all valuables out of plain sight; maintain sufficient space between you and the car ahead of you to allow for room to maneuver, keeping in mind that you are vulnerable when stuck in traffic• If you believe you may be being followed, drive to a police station or other public facility, never home• Park as close to your destination as possible when traveling by car, particularly after dark• When possible, use a chauffeured car service; never use public transportation
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