By NAN Contributor

News Americas, TORONTO, Canada, Fri. Aug. 17, 2018: The Canadian government this week updated its travel warnings to include two Caribbean countries.

As of press time last night, Canada was urging nationals to “exercise a high degree of caution” when travelling to the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic, (DR), and the CARICOM nation of Suriname.

The high crime rate in both countries are the reasons, the Canadians say.

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Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, the government has highlighted a number of issues including violent crime against foreigners such as armed robberies when travelling to and from the Las Américas International Airport.

They also warn of drive-by robberies, where thieves on motorcycles, scooters or bicycles grab bags and other valuables from pedestrian and may even reach into vehicles, including taxis, stopped at red lights to steal belongings.

The warning notice also says that theft in the DR also occurs from all-inclusive hotel rooms and from hotel room safes, as well as from cars, particularly rentals.

Female travelers are also being warned to be extra careful of sexual assault that to never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers and be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum, or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could lead to sexual assault and robbery.

Canada’s government says incidents of assault, rape and sexual aggression against foreigners have occurred even at beach resorts and in some cases, hotel employees have been implicated.

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Travelers planning trips to Suriname are being warned about the crime as well as demonstration which could turn violent.

The Canadian government says violent crime, such as armed robbery, and petty crime, such as pickpocketing, are common in Paramaribo and surrounding areas, especially in the city’s business districts and shopping areas and areas near popular hotels.

They also claim that theft from vehicles and carjacking occurs as well as armed home robberies, including in affluent neighborhoods.

“Banditry and lawlessness are problems in the cities of Albina and Moengo, and along the East–West Link, the highway between Paramaribo and Albina. After dark, avoid the Palm Garden (“Palmentuin”) in Paramaribo’s Dutch area, due to illicit activities and the lack of police presence.,” the Canada travel warning said.

Canada’s authorities also warn travelers to avoid walking alone after dark outside the immediate vicinity of major hotels and to avoid large gatherings and demonstrations as they can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation services.

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