Turkey Arrests American Diplomat in Forged Passport Pay Off

Published December 23rd, 2021 - 10:38 GMT
Istanbul Airport
The international departures hall of Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019 (AFP/File photo)

ALBAWABA - As expected this is making much noise on the social media and is being reported by many news websites. It may even again strain Turkish-US relations but it is still early days.

A Lebanese-based US diplomat arrested in Turkey on suspicion of selling a Syrian national a fake passport for $10,000 has been remanded into custody, Turkish police said on Wednesday and as reported by Anadolu.

The arrest was made after a Nov. 11 incident at Istanbul Airport when the Syrian national tried to use another person’s passport to travel to Germany, said an Istanbul Security Directorate Statement, the Turkish news agency reported.

The headlines continue to make headway in Turkey and internationally with the favorite being "Turkey arrests US diplomat for selling a fake passport" and  it is likely to continue for quite sometimes. This is not to forget the likely ramifications of what has just happened. The US State Department is yet to respond.

The passport belonged to the diplomat who is presently in Turkish custody. He works at the US Consulate in the Lebanese capital Beirut, Anadolu added.

The police statement pointed out that security camera footage showed the two suspects met at the airport and changed their clothes there and that the US diplomat gave the Syrian the passport in question.

A body search of the diplomat found $10,000 in an envelope and a passport in his name, the statement added and as reported by the Turkish media organization.

The Syrian national is facing charges of forgery but was released pending trial, while the US diplomat was remanded in custody.

Foreign diplomats customarily have immunity from prosecution, but they are subject to prosecution and punishment in countries where they are not accredited. That principle seems to apply to the US diplomat in custody, who was accredited in Lebanon, not Turkey, Anadolu ended.

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