A Swiss police officer vacationing in Antalya, Turkey with his family last summer has been handed a 1-year, 15-day suspended jail sentence, 5-years of probation, and was ordered to pay a fine approximately equivalent to 30,000 ISK after being accused of smuggling antiquities from the country, RÚV reports.
Christian Varone was departing the coastal Turkish city on 27 July when a stone was found in his family’s luggage and he was apprehended by police. Varone was held for a few days and was then permitted to return home.
This case is strikingly similar to that of Icelander Davið Örn Bjarnason, who was arrested on 8 March while departing Antalya with his girlfriend following their vacation in the city. A stone that the couple bought in a local market was found from their luggage and Davið stood accused of antiquities smuggling. Davið was released from prison on 14 March, but is being held in detention of some sort awaiting his trial on 25 April.