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Kuwaiti held in Turkey released

Embassy urges Kuwaitis to abide by country's laws to avoid legal trouble

Image Credit: Al Anba
Abdullah Al Shatti

Manama: A Kuwaiti citizen detained in Turkey for reportedly trying to take artifacts out of the country has been released.

However, Abdullah Al Shatti has to remain in Turkey until his case is decided by the local authorities, Kuwait's embassy in Turkey said in a statement in which it attributed his release to the efforts of the Kuwaiti foreign ministry.

Friends in Kuwait said that Al Shatti was arrested on August 12 at the airport after he put his luggage through an X-ray machine and officers found nine coins.

Police said the coins were from the Ottoman era and the law forbade taking them out of the country.

However, the friends told Kuwaiti daily Al Anba in August that Al Shatti never thought that carrying the coins would cause him legal problems and insisted that he bought them as souvenirs and paid $30 for each.

Al Shatti was remanded in police custody in Bodrum on Turkey’s Aegean coast.

In its statement, the embassy thanked the Turkish government for its "concern and understanding”.

It also called on Kuwaitis in Turkey to remain alert and abide by the country's laws to avoid any legal trouble.

A hotline has been provided to assist Kuwaiti citizens in case of an emergency, the embassy added.

Al Shatti’s misfortune occurred a few days before a British man, 52, was arrested at Bodrum airport after trying to take home “13 historic bronze coins he found while snorkelling on holiday”.

The police said the coins were 800-years old, but the ambulance driver told the police “he had no idea it was against the law to take the coins”.

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