TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Consumer Protection Commission under the Cabinet warned the public yesterday to avoid traveling to South Africa because violent crime has continued to escalate in that country.
Liu Ching-fang, a section chief of the commission, said that the commission received a travel advisory from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that social order in South Africa has been deteriorating, and that armed robberies have been reported in areas with large concentrations of people of Chinese origin.
Tourists passing through O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg often complain that their cameras, mobile phones, laptops and other valued possessions were stolen, Liu said.
She added that foreign tourists are being targeted at the airport, followed and mugged by armed criminals, and that some of the robbers are even posing as policemen to stop their victims.
Other governments that have also issued travel warnings to their citizens about travel to South Africa suspect that some personnel working in the airport might be tipping off criminals waiting outside the airport about tourists who declare valuables and cash.