The Canadian Government updated the travel advice for Kyrgyzstan, warning travellers of the risks of violent crime and potential civil unrest.

If you are in or planning travel to Kyrgyzstan, make sure you have this into your travel risk management plan. If you are being sent to Kyrgyzstan for work, your company should have provided you with up to date security briefings and adequate training. If you do not feel prepared for your trip, talk to your boss as soon as possible. 

From the Canadian Government’s Travel Advice website

Violent crime is common and criminals (including organized gangs) target foreigners due to their perceived wealth.

Robbery, mugging and pickpocketing occur frequently. Target locations include:

  • bars
  • parks
  • areas near major hotels
  • public transportation, including stations
  • currency exchange booths
  • shopping centres and markets

The capacity of police to respond to crimes and other incidents is limited.

To minimize the risk of becoming a victim of crime:

  • do not walk or travel alone, especially at night
  • be vigilant and keep your personal belongings, including passports and other documents, secure
  • don’t show signs of affluence
  • avoid carrying large sums of money

Tactics used by criminals

Men posing as police (in uniform) have committed robberies. If you’re approached by a man in a police uniform, ask to see his police credentials.

Men posing as “meet and greet” airport facilitators lure unsuspecting foreigners into cars and demand money. Make prior arrangements with your contacts and ask for identification upon arrival. Don’t leave the airport with anyone who does not show you their identification.

Bars and night clubs

Foreign men are targets for theft in bars, nightclubs and other drinking establishments. You may be approached by one or more women who want to go to your hotel room or apartment. The woman will then seek to provide access to your accommodation to men she is working with. In these situations, you could be robbed, physically assaulted and possibly blackmailed.

To minimize safety risks at night, call a reputable taxi service in advance before leaving popular restaurants and places of recreation. Foreigners on foot, travelling alone or in small groups at night have been followed and robbed.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave your food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Fraud

Credit card, Internet and ATM fraud is common.

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

More about overseas fraud

from Country Advice and Advisories updated in the last 24 hours, which can be found at: http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/kyrgyzstan

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