Turkish authorities arrested an American diplomat from Lebanon who was suspected of selling fake 10,000 passports to Syrian citizens. The suspect tried to use the ID to board flight to Germany using his new identification.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Istanbul Security Directorate confirmed the arrest of a US diplomat who works at the US Consulate in Lebanon’s capital Beirut.
The arrest was made after an incident on November 11 at Istanbul Airport when a Syrian national tried to board a plane to Germany using someone else’s passport.The passport belonged to a US diplomat based in Lebanon.
According to police, they noted that surveillance camera footage had captured American nationals meeting in an airport with Syrian citizens and exchanging clothing. The passport may have been handed to the police during this meeting.
According to security directorate statements, officers searched American citizen and located $10,000 in an envelope with his signature and a passport.
The Syrian national was placed in detention and the Syrian citizen, facing allegations of forgery was released to await trial.
Although foreign diplomats are often exempt from prosecution, they may still face charges in their home country. The American diplomat was not accredited in Turkey but in Lebanon.