Armed Robbery and Sexual Assault

United States Embassy Lusaka, Zambia
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Armed Robbery and Sexual Assault in Ibex Hill Area of Lusaka
August 18, 2015

The U.S. Embassy would like to inform you of an armed robbery and sexual assault that occurred in the Ibex Hill area of Lusaka over the weekend and remind members of the community that Zambia continues to be rated “high” for crime. This crime is especially concerning because of the violent nature of the attack.

Between 0100 and 0200 hours, Saturday, August 15, 2015, a group of three individuals were robbed at gunpoint and one was sexually assaulted. Two members of the group were U.S. citizens. The group was driving home from Bongwe in the Roma area of Lusaka to one of their residences in Ibex Hill near the embassy when they were followed by a silver Range Rover Sport without a license plate. They were pursued in their car and eventually forced to pull over when they entered a street without an exit. One of the perpetrators of the crime was armed with a pistol and another with an axe, and all of the perpetrators appeared to be intoxicated. Money and phones were stolen from all in the group, the man was beaten, and one woman was abducted and sexually assaulted at gunpoint.

A similar incident occurred on July 25, 2015 off Bulaya Road in the Woodlands Extension neighborhood. The victim’s vehicle was forced to a stop and blocked in by a stolen vehicle driven by four armed criminals. The assailants robbed all four passengers and the driver at gunpoint, and the two female passengers were sexually assaulted. The perpetrators are still at large.

Your situational awareness is one of the best tools to keep you safe. When in isolated areas and/or on the road during late hours, you are reminded to pay close attention to your surroundings and take special note of vehicles that may be following you or vehicles/individuals located suspiciously close to residential gates. The most common tactic utilized by carjackers is to follow a vehicle until it reaches a chokepoint, like a driveway gate, and then initiate the assault.

Should you become the victim of a carjacking/robbery, know that most carjackers/robbers are armed and that your best defense often is to comply with their demands since resistance is often met with violence. However, these crimes are unique compared to previous incidents due to their violent nature despite the victims’ cooperation. As a result, we remind you that if you notice a vehicle following you or any other suspicious activity, do not drive home. Proceed immediately to the U.S. Embassy or a police station. If that is not possible, drivers are encouraged to go to a lighted public place. You should review city maps and familiarize yourself with routes leading to the U.S. Embassy and to police stations in Woodlands, Longacres, Levy Junction, Manda Hill, and near the airport. Additionally, you may consider programming the U.S. Embassy phone numbers, 0211-357-000 and 0966-877-805, into your mobile phone. You may also consider carrying a second disposable phone with those same numbers should your primary phone be stolen or lost.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Zambia Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Zambia located on Ibex Hill, at 0211-357- 000 and 0966-877-805 or via email at ACSLusaka@state.gov, 0730 to 1730 Monday through Thursday and 0730 to 1130 on Friday. After hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +260 (0) 966-877-805.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202- 501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).