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US diplomat arrested in Turkey for allegedly selling fake passports: what you need to know

Picture courtesy: The hill

Turkish authorities have arrested an American diplomat working for the U.S. Consulate in Lebanon for allegedly providing a fake passport to a Syrian national, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported on Wednesday.

According to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, the diplomat and the Syrian national were arrested after the latter allegedly tried to travel to Germany using the passport, which had been issued to the diplomat, identified by initials D. J. K, from Istanbul International Airport on Nov. 11.

The statement said that security camera footage of the individuals showed the two meeting at the airport and exchanging clothes with one another, police also seized an envelope containing $10,000 from the diplomat.

The American was jailed while the Syrian was released pending possible proceedings for falsifying documents, Anadolu reported.

The news agency added that while foreign diplomats usually have immunity from prosecution, they are subject to prosecution and punishment in countries where they are not accredited. Since the U.S. diplomat was accredited in Lebanon - and not Turkey - he is liable to face prosecution per the country's laws.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara would not comment on the report. There was also no immediate comment from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

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