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The Government of Canada is warning its citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution” when travelling to Nassau in The Bahamas.
While the recent notice makes it clear that there is “no nationwide advisory in effect for the Bahamas,” the country is listed on the updated Travel Advice and Advisory list for September “due to high rates of crime” in the islands’ capital. It was still valid as of yesterday, September 23rd.
Nassau and Freeport were identified as crime hot spots with the Canadian government advisory noting that tourists have been the targets of robberies, including armed muggings.
“Do not carry large sums of cash or wear expensive jewellery. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and do not resist. Avoid deserted beaches and do not walk alone, particularly after dark,” the notice added.
The news comes on the heels of The Bahamas being listed among four other Caribbean nations as major drug-producing and transit countries by US President Barack Obama. The Department of State said the designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country.
Latore Mackey, the press secretary to the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, was shot in the neck and killed on August 27th and was the fifth in less than 36 hours. As of May, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security warned “The Bahamas continues to have a high crime rate, particularly on New Providence Island, which has continued to experience escalated levels of violent crime.”
Home break-ins, theft, and robbery were also reported island-wide and most reported crimes were perpetrated against local Bahamians in areas of saturated criminality not typically frequented by tourists, OSAC said.