Safety First – at home and abroad

Van ReyndersA few words from Van Reynders,
Country Manager, Creditinfo Tanzania

I was asked to say a few words about an incident which happened to me recently in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  A few weeks ago, I was travelling home in the car after  late night at the office. We had been working on the company budget that needed submitting the follow morning and we were up till late night. I left the office unusually late around midnight and on the way home, my car unexpectedly broke down, just a few miles away from where I live. I locked the car and started to walk home as I could not reach any of the usual taxi drivers by phone at this time of night. I knew it was a bad situation and was very alert. Notwithstanding the fact that it is an extremely wealthy neighbourhood, the road is dark, quiet, runs along the coast and is notorious for muggings. It should have taken me just a few minutes, however, on the way I noticed a suspicious vehicle passing me. I recognised the vehicle from reports of attacks in the area the week before and I knew I was in trouble. The only exit off this coastal road was about 500m ahead but first I had to pass through a dark wooded area. However before I could reach safety I was ambushed and attacked by a group of 5 men armed with machetes and sticks. A fight ensued where I was defending myself and I managed to escape them, but whilst running I tripped in the dark and fell. They caught up to me and surrounded me again. In the ensuing struggle they ensured I could not run again by disabling my knee with a wooden club, robbing me of my belongings, wallet, phone, etc. But I was one of the lucky ones –  I walked away with just cuts and bruises, however, things could have gone very differently.

We’re not trying to scare you, the world isn’t completely dangerous or unsafe, but there are some desperate people, even in your home town as I have explained with my recent experience. We just wanted to remind you to be sensible and careful, especially throughout the forthcoming holiday season and particularly when travelling

More individuals are travelling internationally now than ever before as more companies are becoming multi-national and travel costs are decreasing. International travel can lead to wonderful new experiences and lasting memories. Unfortunately, when travelling, for business or for leisure, it can be easy to forget basic principles of security and care. With escalating crimes being committed every day in all cities, all over the world, threatening the safety of the residents, tourists and other foreign visitors with surprise attacks, robbing, bag snatching, vehicle theft,  mugging and much worse, you really must exercise a high degree of caution at all times.

Here’s a few useful tips we found on the internet for travelling safe, but also good hints for at home too:

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Davith Kahwa for his role in assisting me the morning after the attack and also to everyone for their support and best wishes.

Stay safe!  All the best for the holidays,