Nagpur: While European countries have always been on the bucket list of every Hodophile,, the recent events of robbers targeting tourists have left two Nagpurians as victims, with both the police and local administration turning a blind eye to their ordeal. These incidents could spoil your ‘wanderlust,’ so beware!
Two residents from the Second Capital of the State, a prominent lawyer from the city and an engineer currently posted in Austria, suffered greatly during their trip to Milan and Rome respectively, in May 2023.
The engineer, on vacation with his colleagues, had travelled to Rome when miscreants shattered their car windows and made off with their bags, cash, and passports.
Recounting the harrowing experience, he shared with Nagpur Today that, “When we approached the nearby police station, the cops shooed us away, claiming they already had enough cases. We were forced to drive in our broken car to the next police station, where they merely took a complaint and asked us to leave. It was a horrifying experience for us.”
After seeking help from the Indian Embassy, they obtained an Emergency Certificate (EC) to return to India and are now undergoing the necessary procedures to retrieve their passports. While filing for the EC, they discovered a long list of victims who had also fallen prey to similar incidents in Europe.
In another incident, the family of Adv Shyam Dewani, a lawyer with 38 years of experience, faced a distressing ordeal while on vacation in Italy. Accompanied by his wife and two lawyer children, they embarked on a family holiday to various locations in Italy and Paris. However, their trip took an unpleasant turn upon their arrival in Milan.
Upon reaching Milan, the family faced issues with their hotel reservation at Hotel Uptown. Despite booking in advance, the hotel rooms were not ready for check-in, compelling them to store their luggage and explore the nearby market. It was during this time that the lawyer’s black Samsonite laptop bag, containing valuable items such as a MacBook Pro, iPad, passport, credit cards, cash, and personal belongings, was stolen at a Primark Store near Duomo.
Although the family immediately informed the store management and security personnel, their request to view the CCTV footage was denied. They were advised to contact the police authorities instead. However, at the police station, they faced further obstacles, including delayed assistance due to lunchtime and a lack of support for utilizing technology to track the stolen items.
Left with no other options, the family took matters into their own hands. Using the “Find My” app on the lawyer’s iPhone, they traced the last known location of the stolen iPad, approximately 5.5 kilometres away from the store. Unfortunately, their search for the bag in that location proved fruitless.
Luck was on their side when the lawyer discovered the laptop bag in the toilet of Caffe Pascucci near the Central Station. While some items remained intact, such as the laptop, iPad, passport, and credit cards, the cash, goggles, spectacles, charger, and other valuables worth around 2000 Euros were missing.
The family sought assistance from the café’s security personnel to review the CCTV footage, but their initial request was denied. The Indian Embassy official accompanying them was informed, and an email was sent to the police authorities regarding the situation.
Speaking to Nagpur Today, Adv Dewani, expressed his disappointment with the lack of proactive assistance from the police and highlighting poor security practices in Italy.
“We are seeking intervention from higher authorities to ensure the recovery of our stolen items and improve safety measures at locations such as the Primark Store and Caffe Pascucci. I firmly believe that with the available technology and information, the culprit can be apprehended, and justice can be served,” he said.
The unfortunate experiences faced by these individuals serve as a stark reminder of the need for enhanced security measures and prompt action to protect tourists and prevent such crimes in the future.
– Shubham Nagdeve