OUR recent feature on crime against travellers warned about the fast-growing crime wave in Russia. The latest edition of the Warsaw Voice reveals that the problem has become acute.

The newspaper reports what it describes as 'the crime of the century' committed on board an overnight train from Moscow to St Petersburg, much used by tourists.

The robbery took place on 21 June when thieves succeeded in sending all the passengers on the train to sleep with knock-out gas and then stole all their luggage, valuables and money. The driver was not affected and the train arrived safely at its destination. Suspicion was aroused when the train arrived at the station and nobody got off; staff discovered the victims were all still asleep.

The use of knock-out gas on trains was first practised on the Motorail trains travelling through France two years ago. As this form of crime seems now to have been eliminated in France, it has been suggested that the thieves have moved on to pastures new. For the latest advice on crime hot spots in the former Soviet Union contact the Foreign Office advice line (071-270 4129) or see the travel advice pages on the BBC's Ceefax service.

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