World Cup Photog Robbed at Gunpoint in South Africa

Portuguese photographer Antonio Simoes was in South Africa to shoot the World Cup when he was robbed at gunpoint in his hotel room yesterday morning.

Two men entered his room at the Nutbush Boma Lodge at about 4am, pointed a gun at his head, and stole roughly $35,000 worth of camera equipment. Two other journalists staying in the hotel were also robbed that same morning.

Simoes, who works for Portuguese sports newspaper O Jogo, tells the Associated Press:

One of the guys pointed a hand gun at my head, and then they took all my gear — cameras, lenses, laptop. Then they told me to lie on the bed and they covered me with a blanket, pressed the gun against my head and told me to sleep.

$35,000 worth of gear… Wow. Any guesses to what he was carrying that adds up to that figure? If you’re going to be photographing in South Africa this summer, be careful.

(via PDN Pulse)

Image credit: The Robbery by gcfairch

  • F3lixP

    Hey there! Portuguese reader here. Yes it was a bad happening for this photojournalist, but like you refer, how the hell he had $35,000 worth of gear totally UNPROTECTED in his room? Oh, besides that they robbed also €4000 in money. A lot of bad luck and no brains in my opinion!

  • Joakim Fjeldli

    I think the whole idea of chosing that location for a large sports event, with that amount of crime, is just redicilous. Hopefully the photographers gear wasnt his personal stuff, but his employers property.

  • jameskachan

    umm well.. if youre a pro shooter, and say,,, oh are carrying two flagship Nikon bodies, that's 20 grand right there.
    a laptop is 3 or 4 grand, plus harddrives cards, etc. camera bags alone are like $3-500 each.
    and the rest in lenses. sure.

    makes sense.

  • Ken

    A bag of very nice lenses would get in you the ballpark wouldn't it? or maybe just one of these:

  • Pieterjan Grobler

    It is going a bit crazy at the moment locally, but the guys must just remember to look over their shoulders for the duration of the World Cup. Don't worry about the equipment, it could have been their lives.

    I am going a bit out for Landscape shooting before watching some Soccer.

    From a Sunny but cold South Africa at the moment.

  • kentsparkman

    If you happened to follow the Vincent Laforet blog, and remember back to the Olympics in China, he had an astronomical amount of gear with him. ( ) A single sport event will not require this sort of hardware, but 4 or 5 bodies (1 primary, 1 second, 1 backup, and a remote at each end of the pitch) Lenses for each (two quality fixed length wides for the remotes, a 400mm or longer for the primary, a 300mm for nearfield shots, and covering the range from 24-200 with two zooms and a fast prime or two) It would not be hard at all to get to 35K and quickly well over that.

    As to how he had it unprotected in his room? What else is he supposed to do with it?

  • Ttcremers

    People get robbed every where, just because it's South Afrika and the world cup it's suddenly news. Robberies stink they shouldn't happen. I asume the gear was insured, what is much more damaging is the psychological impact of such an experience.

    I don't know how they gained access to his hotel room, but I always lock the room also from the inside as I usually also travel with a lot of gear (but not 35.000 worth).

    I'd advise to still asume that Hotel are safe places :-) Or else you'll never go anywhere with your gear. As Kentsparkman said; What else is he supposed to do with it.

  • Richard Horsfield

    Check ebay, I think there's going to be a few “bargains” on there soon… lucky he got out of that unharmed.

  • Telemaquerohan

    yes u have to be careful…and this is a world wide thing …sorry for them…i hope they catch those bad guys…we a had a situation like that in antigua the other day when kenny rogers and his crew was here for a show … …at least they still have there lives…give thanks and praise to the Most High

  • QuBe

    Good grief, who stays at a place called the “Nutbush Boma Lodge” with $35K of gear and expects to not be robbed?

    On the upside, it says the culprits were apprehended and most of the gear retrieved.

  • kevjohn

    Hey, they can't all be those fancy Motel 6s ya know.

  • mail

    I too was robbed at gun point when I was in South Africa working for various designers on International fashion campaigns! Went to the bank as directed by an Italian location scout at a specific time and place… in which I exchange $10,000 Euro to Rands and was followed for an hour from the bank to a Prop house in which was gated and guarded and still… I was robbed, cash, cameras,Mac laptop,designer hand bags etc. This will not be the last of it…there will be much more crime ahead and possibly deaths!!!! What's terrible is that's there's so much corrupted crime but it will never be published in News Papers or talked about on day or night TV news!!!! World Cup will be last in South Africa after so MUCH Tragic disaster and crime ahead…it's only the beginning afraid to say….

  • QuBe

    True. I've been burgled to the tune of $2K at a hotel that was palatial in comparison to The Nutbush.
    Not that I'm bitter… :D

  • Jessembula

    Wel Robbery is every where but atleast the greatest event in Africa”A Blessing to the Black people” shouldnt miss to be captured with reasons of robbers stealing gear! however does tht show south Africa is rigid at wrong doers they are many cases even the recent murder of world star Lucky Dube…..South Africa police is bull shit! if it was possible world cup could have been in Uganda where CHOGM was security is tight no gear stealin in police records….steve -Kampala ,Uganda

  • Manny Klystron

    Is this news really? It's very dog-bites-man. I mean “South Africa: Prepare to be Robbed at Gunpoint Eventually” is more or less their national motto.