Officials in the DRC have reported an increase in robberies by criminals posing as taxi drivers or customers in Kinshasa. The robbers often threaten to use violence in order to persuade their victims to comply. Robbers are especially active at night and in the main capital district.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the increased crime rates, and have advised individuals to only use licensed taxi services.
Kinshasa has high crime rates, and armed robberies near supermarkets and hotels in the downtown area are frequent. Some gangs attempt to trick foreigners by using female fraudsters, by posing as security force members, or offering cheaply priced gold and diamonds. Foreigners have also been increasingly targeted in North and South Kivu. The city of Goma has also reported high robbery rates after dark.
Individuals are advised to avoid using taxis in the DRC. If it is necessary to use a taxi, avoid using taxis called on the street and use a private service instead.
It is advised to keep a low profile and avoid walking in the streets alone, particularly at night. Hide all valuables and money, and use a hotel safe to hold your passport and copies of documents. For various security reasons, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the east and northeast of the country, including North Kivu.