148964 4/8/2008 10:17 08BUCHAREST263 Embassy Bucharest UNCLASSIFIED 08STATE35293 VZCZCXYZ0013 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0263/01 0991017 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 081017Z APR 08 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8127 UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000263
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: OTRA, KCRM, KWMN, PHUM, SMIG, PREL, RO SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR G/TIP VISIT OF ELEANOR GAETAN
REF: STATE 035293
1. Embassy grants country clearance to Eleanor Gaetan, Senior Coordinator for Public Affairs for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP). The purpose of Mrs. Gaetan,s visit is to speak at a conference on human trafficking, hosted by the Ratiu foundation Romania.
2. Per reftel, post understands no Embassy assistance is requested. Travelers are responsible for canceling their own hotel reservations by calling the hotel directly. Note: Most hotels require a 24-hour notice, prior to scheduled arrival, in order to successfully cancel reservations without penalty. Should travelers fail to successfully change the reservation on time; the traveler will be responsible for any resulting hotel charges.
3. Travelers to Romania should be advised of the following:
--Visas are required for holders of U.S. passports (including diplomatic and official passports) only if they plan to remain in Romania for more than 90 days.
--Romania is largely a cash economy. Although major hotels and an increasing number of shops and restaurants accept credit cards, it is not advisable to use them given the danger of fraud and potential misuse of credit card data. The Embassy is aware of instances of credit card fraud in Bucharest and other locations in Romania. This scam can result in thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges on a single user's card. The crime entails "swiping" a credit card through an easily obtainable hand-held device. Post advises all visitors to Romania to keep constant watch on their credit cards whenever the cards are turned over for payment.
--ATMs are widely available in Bucharest and other urban areas. There are two in the arrival area of the international airport. Visitors should note that ATMs have occasionally been altered in order to defraud users. It is therefore advisable to limit ATM use to those in indoor locations or physically attached to a banking institution. If you plan to use ATM machines in Romania, please check with your bank prior to arrival to ensure that use of ATMs in Romania is not blocked for anti-fraud reasons.
-- A concern for visitors is crime. While most crimes against official Americans are limited to property theft, post has noted in increase in simple assaults associated with these thefts - particularly late at night. Travelers should be aware of money exchange scams involving individuals posing as plainclothes policemen; approaches of "quick friendship" at train/subway stations resulting in thefts or drugging; pickpockets and/or purse slashing; and muggings. Panhandlers - often groups of children - can be very aggressive and have resorted to grabbing/tearing clothing in their efforts to steal. When eating at restaurants, do not hang handbags and suit coats on the backs of chairs or leave them on the floor out of sight. Wallets and other valuables can/will be stolen if caution is not exercised. Extreme care should be taken when patronizing "after-hours clubs" with "live entertainment," which can charge exorbitant prices and are relentless in pursuing payment. Most of
the property crimes involving violence have taken place late at night and in close proximity to these establishments. Temporary duty travelers who will remain at post for longer than a week may be required to attend the RSO security briefing. Post has also prepared a handout for TDY personnel which will be made available upon request.
--Travelers with security questions should contact the Regional Security Officer.
--Current information on diseases, including avian flu, and other health precautions for Romania can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/travel/easteur.htm, the State Department at www.travel.state.gov; and the World Health Organization at http: //www.who.int/csr/ disease/avian influenza/country/en. Visitors with chronic medical conditions are reminded to bring an adequate supply of medication and or medical supplies to cover the length of their stay in Romania and (for controlled drugs) documentation verifying their need for such medications. Certain medications, supplies and dosages or delivery systems may not be available here. Water is not potable. Bottled water is readily available.
--In 2005, Avian Flu Virus was found in tests of domesticated and commercial poultry at various locations in Romania. At present, the Romanian government reports there are no cases in the country. If cases do emerge, visitors are advised to avoid areas identified by the Romanian government as being affected by avian influenza. Embassy Bucharest reminds all visitors coming to Romania to take all suggested precautions which may be found at: http: //travel.state.gov/travel/tips/ health/health 1181.html.
5. For all visitors who will access the embassy, please be aware of the following:
--The use of privately owned laptops and personal computers, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), is prohibited in the chancery. Cellular phones are prohibited in classified authorized areas (CAAs). Travelers with USG-owned unclassified laptops or notebook computers, peripherals, diskettes and tapes must obtain RSO/IMO authorization for access. USG-owned classified computers must arrive at post via classified diplomatic pouch, bearing USG bar code inventory number and be marked with the highest classification level of information processed on the system. Questions concerning other types of electronic devices and magnetic media should be directed to the RSO, IMO, or ISSO. TAUBMAN