Photo: ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Venice Tourist ‘Kidnaps’ Currency Exchange Worker Over Dispute on Exchange Rates

by Eben Diskin Oct 24, 2019

Currency exchanges can be frustrating. You show up to a foreign country with $300 expecting to receive a fair equivalence, only to be told that somehow, overnight, your precious US dollars aren’t as precious as you thought they were. This realization can be disappointing, even infuriating, but it’s no excuse to kidnap a currency exchange worker. Well, tell that to this guy, who actually held a worker hostage at the bureau de change in Venice over an exchange rate dispute.

The man tried to exchange $100 for euros and was reportedly unhappy with the amount of euros he was offered. The 46-year-old tourist from Israel tried to cancel the exchange and then allegedly closed the shutters and forcibly prevented the woman from leaving her booth. The incident lasted about a half hour, and the worker called the police who arrested the disgruntled customer.

Although this particular hostage situation may be over, it’s actually part of a larger trend of unruly tourists in Venice. In September, a South American tourist headbutted a gondolier after an argument sparked by (of all things) selfie-taking. The man had allegedly boarded the boat with his family solely to take a picture but not actually pay for a ride. In June, two German tourists were fined and asked to leave the city when they were caught preparing coffee with a camping stove on Rialto Bridge.

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