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.
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.
That passport belonged to the remanded diplomat, who works at the US Consulate in Lebanon’s capital Beirut, it said.
The statement added that security camera footage showed that 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.
The Syrian national is facing charges of the forgery but was released pending trial, while the US diplomat was remanded into 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.