Skip to main content

Blue-light bandits in Geneva hit tourists and UN

Geneva's real police use a variety of vehicles       Photo: Krokodyl / Wikimedia


The United Nations, which has a variety of agencies headquartered in Geneva, warned its staff last week that fake cops have been ripping off UN staff and occasionally tourists.


In an e-mail to UN staff last week, the security service warned that two or three men, in civilian suits, approach the victim and flash a document that looks like a police ID. The victim is them asked to produce ID, wallet or handbag. The "cops" then inspect the wallet or handbag and return it—lightened of all or most of the cash. Victims often don't realize they have been robbed until later.


In another version, an accomplice will engage the victim in a conversation, asking him to take a picture, or give directions. While this is happening, "police" will arrive to check ID of both parties.


In other schemes, an excuse (flat tire, for example) is used to lure a motorist, especially women, from a car. While the car is checked for tire pressure, or a cat under the car, an accomplice opens the other door and grabs purses or other valuables from the seat. 

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.