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Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 11:49 PM UTC

Arriving Tourists Robbed Leaving Airport

Safety & Security Last night at about 7:30 pm three tourists (one each from Spain, Italy, and Venezuela) were robbed at gunpoint after having arrived in Panama. They rented a car at the airport and were driving towards their hotel in the center of town when they were hit by another small sedan in a side-to-side collision under the overpass just after the entrance to Via Lucre near the old Roosevelt monument. Thinking they had been in a simple accident the tourists stopped the car and four theives exited the other vehicle and took control of the victims at gunpoint. They stole their luggage, cash, and personal belongings and left the area in two other vehicles that came in and picked them up. The tourists were unharmed in the incident. Police are investigating. (Editor's Comment: This kind of thing happens periodically. The airport is a public area and it's easy for theives to have a spotter at the airport to identifiy easy pickings and to relay information to accompliances who are waiting outside of the airport security perimiter. In any case if you are involved in a traffic accident in Panama anywhere and you don't feel completely safe, take off and find a cop. If it turns out you were just being paranoid, just explain yourself. Better safe than sorry.)
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Arriving Tourists Robbed Leaving Airport
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 13 2006 @ 01:55 PM UTC

This is a trick that gangs in Panama used to use very often back in the late 1990's. First, they target their prey based on how much money they have on them. How do they know what money is on them? This would happen in one of two ways. The first method used to happen at the customs level. When the tourist arrives Panama, they have to declare if they have over $10,000 in cash. In the late 90's, people who would purchase in the Free Zone would come down with hundreds of thousands IN CASH. Why in cash? Because it would cost way too much or be impossible depending on their home country, to wire the cash to Panama. So, they would bring the cash and declare all or at least some of the money. They were identified by someone infiltrated in Customs and were monitored. Once they left the airport, they were followed and hit by fake cops (uniforms and all) in between Panama and Colon.

What happened here though is the second method used. Simply wait for the stupid tourist to flash around some cash, dressed to kill, lots of jewelty, renting a car. The rest of the "method" is similar: monitor the subjects, follow them and wait for the right moment to get them to stop. This tagging method is highly used in the US. If you are tagged, meaning, slightly hit by another car. Slow down, but do not completely stop and dial 104 immediately if you have a cell phone and Spanish is a must sadly enough. That will get you to the police and you can report the suspicious accident or situation that you are in. The motorized police will be there shortly (within 10 minutes).