American arrests abroad: approximately 2,500 each year.
Arrests related to illegal drugs: approximately 1/3 of those above.
When you travel abroad, things are going to be different. That is a pretty basic fact. One thing that most travelers have in common is money. Basically if you can afford to travel then you have some money to spare. Tourists are seen as having money and that is why they are much more likely to get mugged or accosted in some other way.
Just this past month an American woman was arrested on drug charges.
- The arrested stemmed from some marijuana being located under the woman’s set on a bus that was heading to Arizona from Mexico.
- They held her for over a week.
- All that she did was to sit in the worst possible spot on the bus.
Unfortunately stories like this are not all that unusual.
The tip about blending in with the locals is a good one. If you don’t obviously look like a tourist, or blatantly act like one, then you will make a less likely victim.
Other helpful tips:
- Leave your sparkly and valuable jewelry or watch at home (Wearing a lot of bling is like having a bull’s-eye around your neck).
- Just carry a minimal amount of cash.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep your bags close to you and within sight at all times.
It doesn’t take much for someone to slip a bag of something illegal into an open backpack (that is dangling from your shoulder) with the plan of digging it out later, after the danger of being discovered by authorities has passed.h