US tourist robbed of $40,000 in Australia

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Sydney, Aug 30 (IANS) An American tourist who came to Queensland to buy a boat has been robbed of the $40,000 which he was planning to use for the purchase, the authorities said on Tuesday.

The victim, John Markewicz from Washington, was walking along a path just north of the Botanic Gardens in Cairns when he was pushed to the ground by two young men and robbed of his backpack, which contained the cash, Xinhua news agency reported.

Markewicz, 56, chased the men and later found his backpack and towel, but his cash, his passport and phone were all gone. The two assailants were also nowhere to be seen.

Markewicz said he was holding the cash because he had travelled to Australia to purchase a boat and sail back home across the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii and other islands.

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“I wanted to take the boat home, moor it, live on it, a lot of people do it there,” Markewicz said.

Disorientated after the attack, Markewicz did not get a good look at his assailants, only to tell police that they were young men and one was blonde.

Meanwhile, Cairns police have issued a warning to all employees at currency exchange bureaus across Queensland, urging them to be careful when accepting US dollars.



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