Due to the worsening economy, there are more and more pick-pockets infiltrating the countries of Europe. Foreign tourists especially Asians who brought with them lots of cash for shopping are their easy prey.

Be wary of Pick-Pockets

By all means, travelling should be an enjoyable time. But then, the tour guide will still keep on warning you about pick-pockets at every destination which might probably spoil your mood. Bear in mind, this awareness is really necessary especially in certain countries where pick-pocketing is rampant.

In any journey, it is will be very unfortunate to be targeted by the pick-pocket. However, as they are so highly skilled nowadays, they could out-do us any time. Whatever it may be, it is our responsibility as a tour guide to keep reminding our clients to be always on the alert. Be conscious of your personal belongings, especially the passport and wallet. Always keep important items in front of you, within your sight. Backpacks are always easy targets for pick-pockets. I have personally witnessed a pick-pocket in Athens where the wallet was picked from a man’s pocket in less than 5 seconds. So swift and so shocking!

When I was having breakfast in a hotel at Madrid, Spain, I had my camera bag ‘taken away’ and there goes my D90 and S95. What saddened me most was the loss of the beautiful images taken earlier. There was nothing that the hotel could do to help, they didn’t even have a CCTV. In a separate incident, another client lost all his cash and credit cards when his wallet was picked while shopping for postcards at St. Petersburg.

Of course, there are also times when we did recover a lost item. It happened in Denmark which is one of the more systematic countries in Europe. One of my clients lost his bag at the airport. After making a police report, we were so delighted to see the bag returned half a day later. They even have it sent to the hotel where we stayed. We really respect the efficiency of the police of Denmark. But bear in mind, lady luck is not always on our side. Pick-pocket lurks everywhere…. they In the public buses or even in the subway.

With the establishment of the EU, borders are open to member countries. This inadvertently attracts the flow of “opportunists” from the Eastern Europe. Even the minors are made use of by the syndicate to carry out their crimes as tourists would normally not pay much attention when children move around them. Even if the minors are caught red-handed, they are only sent to rehabilitation centres. The next time when you are in Europe, if you are surrounded by kids better keep an eye on your belongings.

Due to the worsening economy, there are more and more pick-pockets infiltrating the countries of Europe. Foreign tourists especially Asians who brought with them lots of cash for shopping are their easy prey. Countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, France and Eastern Europe are the highly risk countries in terms of pick-pockets.

The situation is not that rampant in Asia, especially Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Thailand are the better ones.

However, with so many immigrant labours in Malaysia, it is hard to say. We do have cases like these too.

Travelution 2012 May/June Issue 18

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李桑 作者

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