Seychelles 2019 Crime and Safety Report

The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report's publication assesses Seychelles at Level 1, indicating travelers should exercise normal precautions.

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

The U.S. Embassy in Port Louis does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizen Services unit (ACS) cannot recommend a particular individual or establishment, and assumes no responsibility for the quality of services provided.

Review OSAC's Seychelles-specific page for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password.

Crime Threats

There is minimal risk from crime in Victoria. Most visits to Seychelles remain trouble-free. According to official police figures, there has been a decrease in incidents of petty theft, burglary, robbery, and other crime of opportunity. In 2018, robbery and burglary cases decreased by 45% and 17% respectively compared to 2017. However, this should not be a reason to be complacent; crime rates do fluctuate and incidents against tourists, residents, and expatriates occur frequently. Exercise extra caution near ATMs and in the back streets of Beau Vallon and Victoria. Theft from vehicles also occurs in areas foreigners frequent. Criminals often target trekking tours, walking trails, and beaches due to the volume of tourists. Despite the decrease of opportunistic crimes reported in 2018, there were a spate of robberies and attacks on and around the Cote D'Or beach on the island of Praslin.

The Seychellois rupee (SCR) is the local currency. ATMs are available at the airport and at major tourist destinations, but dispense only SCR. Credit cards are not widely accepted outside of resorts. There have been reports in recent years of credit card scams using card skimming devices. Seychellois enjoy a lower tax rate due to the offshore financial services industry's significant economic contributions to the country, which has the second highest per capita income in Africa. The flexibility of the international tax system and the lack of legislation concerning high-value transactions has enabled international crime organizations to engage in money laundering using these offshore industries.

Reports of pirates operating in the western region of Seychelles have decreased substantially in recent years. Refer to the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) website for additional information and advisories.

Cybersecurity Issues

Seychelles does not have an officially approved national cybersecurity roadmap or internationally recognized Computer Incident Response Team. The government has created several legal measures in recent years (e.g. Computer Misuse Act, the Electronic Transactions Act, and the Data Protection Act) in an effort to address cybersecurity issues. The country signed agreements with India and Cyprus in 2018 to bolster cybersecurity, but has not implemented wider security measures on public systems.

Other Areas of Concern

The popular tourist beach in Beau Vallon is host to powerful rip currents. Exercise caution by staying alert to changes in sea conditions. Do not fish, swim, or snorkel alone. Always seek expert local advice about which areas are safe for swimming, as this can differ based on seasonal weather patterns and time of day. Many beaches have varying strong/rip currents. Most beaches do not have a regular lifeguard presence.

Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)