By Bayo Akinloye
There are indications that criminal gangs in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are planning to launch whole-scale attacks on international hotels targeting foreign exchange bureaus on their premises.
This is according to an updated travel advisory by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In an travel warning emailed to THISDAY, the British government said, “There have been reports that criminal gangs are intending to target foreign exchange bureau attached to international hotels in and around Abuja’s central business district; you should be extra vigilant in these areas, satisfy yourself that your hotel’s visible security measures are robust and minimise your movements in and around foreign exchange bureau in these areas.”
However, on Friday, the UK government revised its warning saying, “”Revised information and advice about criminal intent to target areas around international hotels in Abuja; removal of reference to foreign exchange bureau as a specific target; it is likely that potential attacks would be carried out by armed gangs.
It added, “At this time of heightened threat, avoid loitering outside hotel security cordons and be extra vigilant when travelling in their vicinity.”
In March last year, a building, located in Burma Road, Apapa, Lagos State, was reportedly attacked by hoodlums carting away $45,000 and N9.5 million.
Similarly, last July, some armed robbers had attacked a bureau de change on Akerele road in Surelere, Lagos.