U.S. advisory on Kazakstan

WASHINGTON -- The State Department alerted travelers to Kazakstan about a new scam at Almaty Airport, where men posing as greeters "lure unsuspecting foreigners into cars purportedly to take them to their hotels."

The driver proceeds to a secluded gas station, then demands about $100 for gas to drive back to the city. The department said travelers should make advance arrangements with their contacts in Almaty "for concrete identification upon arrival at the airport."

The department also said Kazakstan suspended the 72-hour transit rule that allowed those with visas from other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States to transit the country.

Separately, the department announced:

  • In Panama, boaters should be advised that local search-and-rescue capabilities "are greatly diminished" with the departure of the U.S. military.
  • In Mali, U.S. citizens should avoid crowds and political rallies and defer nonessential travel to the northern regions.
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