Foreigners robbed in South Africa ahead of World Cup   2010-06-11 05:51:40 FeedbackPrintRSS

JOHANNESBURG, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Before the FIFA World Cup kicks off Friday, visitors to South Africa from China, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Republic of Korea, Japan and Colombia have fallen victim to crimes.

But none was injured.

The latest incident to be reported on Thursday involved the Greek national soccer squad, who had a large amount of cash stolen from their hotel rooms in Umhlanga near Durban.

Chinese World Cup visitors saw an escort being robbed near Johannesburg the day before the tournament opening.

South African police spokesman Vish Naidoo told South African Press Association (SAPA) the escort, a Chinese man with South Africa citizenship, was accompanying a bus with 20 Chinese tourists in Germiston east of Johannesburg on Thursday.

SAPA reported that the escort was traveling in his own car. The vehicles stopped in an informal settlement to watch a film being shot.

An armed man held up the escort and took his digital camera and cell phone.

The gunman and three accomplices sped away from the scene. "None of the tourists was hurt," Naidoo said.

Earlier in the week, Chinese cameramen were reportedly robbed of cash and camera equipment at gunpoint outside Soccer City in Soweto after the attackers smashed their car window.

South African police also confirmed that foreign currency was stolen from the hotel rooms of the Greek World Cup squad in Umhlanga north of Durban on Tuesday.

Naidoo said detectives had interviewed the players and were trying to convince them to report the case.

"They refused to open a case but we have sent a high-level delegation of detectives to interview them and try to pursue an investigation."

The acting manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel, Patsy Esposito, declined to discuss the matter and Southern Sun Hotels spokeswoman Priya Naidoo dismissed it as "an allegation."

South African police said they have arrested a fourth suspect for robbing two Portuguese and one Spanish journalist in Magaliesburg, north-west of Johannesburg.

"We have arrested four suspects. We are confident that we have the right people," South African national police commissioner Bheki Cele's spokeswoman, Nonkululeko Mbatha told SAPA.

"We have recovered most of the stolen items. We are still questioning them, so there is the chance that we can still recover more."

In Cape Town a special World Cup magistrate's court dealt with its first three cases this week, including a theft from a Japanese tourist in a police station.

The theft took place on Tuesday at Caledon Square station in the city center, police head of 2010 operations in the Western Cape Major-General Robbie Roberts said.

"He was in the CSC (community service center) in Cape Town police station and he left his bag unattended in the CSC.

"He went up on the third floor and when he came down he determined that the bag was gone."

Police had used closed-circuit television cameras to identify the suspect, a woman, who was arrested.

Beeld newspaper in Johannesburg reported on Thursday that a Korean television executive had been robbed of electronic equipment in central Johannesburg.

In another incident in late May, the Colombian football team had cash stolen from their rooms at the five-star Hyde Park Southern Sun Hotel in northern Johannesburg when they played a friendly match against South Africa.

Two hotel employees were later charged with theft.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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