The New Zealand Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has raised alarm and is advising New Zealanders in Fiji or visiting Fiji to be aware of increasing thefts and assault on tourists.
In a notice on DFAT website, the New Zeakand government says that the theft and assault have been reported by locals and tourists alike, with most occurring at night and in urban areas.
“We advise New Zealanders to avoid poorly lit areas at night, particularly in Suva. Women travellers can be subject to sexual harassment and there have been incidents of sexual assault against tourists.”
“Petty crime against visitors, such as bag snatching has been reported. While violent crime towards foreigners is not common, foreigners may be the targets of opportunistic crime, such as theft, robbery and home invasion.”
“We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also said that the theft of valuables including passports from hotel rooms and vehicles has been reported and particular care should be taken to secure these items.
Tourists have been targeted at the main international airports of Nadi and Nausori, with the opportunistic theft of passports and unattended luggage.
“There have been spates of credit card fraud in the past in Fiji, including use of credit card skimming devices or other types of data theft.”
The New Zealanders are advised to take extra care when paying with credit cards or withdrawing money from ATMs. This includes covering PIN number when entering it, keeping cards safe and carefully checking credit card statements to ensure no fraudulent charges are present.