Pickpocketing, sexual assaults and an increase in dangerous activity in the country prompted the British Foreign Office to issue a travel warning for Cape Verde. The African tourist destination in the last few years had gained popularity among Britons, a significant fraction of which complained about being faced with trouble in the still-developing country.
According to The Express UK, citing the British Foreign Office's warning to U.K. travelers in its website, gang-led children perform purse snatching and pickpocketing on most travelers. The Foreign Office also mentioned several places, including Praia de Estoril, Praia de Chaves and Santa Monica, as hotspots for petty crime activities.
Simpson Millar Solicitors, specializing in holiday claims, said the promotions of Cape Verde as an African luxury getaway only overshadows the impoverished population of the still-developing country. Law firm lawyer Nolan Mortimer said the "facade of all the glitzy hotels" have travelers overlook the country's economic situation that encourages criminal activity.
The Daily Star said the country's tour operators still consider the beach destination "safe." The announcement discourages travel and advises British tourists to be on guard and vigilant at all times.
According to the National Statistics Institute, Cape Verde has increased in popularity with British honeymooners with a 13.6 percent increase in 2016's traveler numbers compared to 2015. The Foreign Office states that in the places mentioned above including Sal and Boa Vista, violent muggings and burglaries of suites for vacationer's properties were reported.
While sexual assaults and predatory actions including the abduction and rape of some travelers had happened frequently in 2016, one major case happened in 2007 when a double rape and murder of two Italian female tourists sparked international outrage against Cape Verde.
The Foreign Office also advises against buying long-term properties in Cape Verde as previous nationals who had tried to purchase local property faced trouble with authorities, hinting at possible corruption or unfair use of law.