Aswan pickpocket alert
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jan 8, 2012 7:07 AM Last Post By: rromani
Jan 6, 2012 11:34 AM
Aswan pickpocket alertJust back from a few weeks in Egypt and thought that this info here should come first.
There's at least one pickpocket artist working the souk in Aswan with the 'Papyrus vendor trick': as usual, he'll approach you with 'Papyrus for 5 pounds', which are spread over his left arm- so that noone can see what his right arm is up to. You'll know something is fishy when the guy tries to get in front of you - the ordinary vendors stay on your side. In that case, do what I did: shout 'emshi'! or 'harami'! so that you get the surrounding crowd's attention; the thief will then evaporate like thin air. My encounter lasted but a few seconds, but my money belt was already open; he didn't have the chance to get anything out of it, though.
This experience was confirmed by the felucca captain we rode with the next day, who told us that he had driven away a thief using the exact same scheme that very day, and asked me to add - if I were to write on the net about this - that you can turn to any shop owner in case that you should experience the same. The good people of Aswan are very much aware that shop lifting is a serious threat to their business, so they will be more than willing to help you.
In case the guy is working alone: he was short (maybe 165cm/5.2-5 ft), balding, slim, Spanish beard.
Jan 6, 2012 7:09 PM
Jan 6, 2012 11:57 PM
2I had similar experience in Aswan in November except I encountered a group of three working together. We were a group of four walking along the corniche late afternoon after arriving back from a lovely relaxing felucca trip to visit the tombs & Kitchener Island. I didn’t realise at the time but I had inadvertently left my shoulder bag open and hence became the target of the very persistent papyrus seller in front of me. Luckily a felt a slight brush at my side and found a second person with his hand in my bag! I grabbed his hand, shouted out & they both took off. One of my group saw them both climbing onto the back of a motorbike waiting nearby and they disappeared. Fortunately I didn’t lose anything but it was close.
I have to say that I spent a very enjoyable month travelling in Egypt and this was the only time I had any problem and I walked around on my own several times in the evening in both Cairo & Luxor. Hence I hesitated re writing this experience up as I had been at fault in leaving my bag open. However as it has happened to someone else as well, I think I’ll write it up on Tripadvisor as well especially as none of the 3 people with me saw the 2nd guy approaching from behind.
Jan 8, 2012 5:30 AM
Jan 8, 2012 6:45 AM
Jan 8, 2012 7:07 AM
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