Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Harassment by Possible Police Officer Impostor

The U.S. Embassy in Mali informs U.S. citizens of reports that expatriates are being stopped by an individual on a motorcycle in a police uniform who is demanding large sums of money for alleged traffic infractions, or under the pretext of the moto being somehow damaged by the car. In one case, the suspect pulled a weapon on the driver when he tried to call security personnel to assist. At this time, we are not certain whether this is a single impostor operating on his own, or whether he is an actual police officer. The Embassy is working with Police contacts and other foreign mission counterparts to investigate this matter.

In all cases, the “victim” has been driving alone in the vehicle, the incidents have occurred at night, and the suspect has forced the driver to stop by placing his motorcycle directly in front of the car. Incidents have occurred on both sides of the river, namely ACI 2000, Hippodrome, Magnambougou, and Niarela.

The Embassy advises drivers to stop only for police in well-lit areas, or places where several officers are posted. Whenever possible, avoid driving alone at night, and know your environment. If you are forced to stop the vehicle, we recommend you comply as this individual is known to be armed.

The Embassy reminds you to exercise caution and maintain situational awareness at all times, and to take appropriate security precautions to ensure your own safety.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mali despite the existing Travel Warning for Mali enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution and travel information, including the Travel Warning for Mali, and Country Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from other countries, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako is located at ACI 2000, Rue 243 Porte 297. The Consular Section can be contacted at +223 2070 2505, or via email at If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, please contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Marine Guard at +223 2070 2301 or 2070 2302.