The diplomat was arrested in Turkey for selling his passport to a Syrian trying to travel to Germany. According to Istanbul police, the arrest took place last month.
The policemen have identified the US diplomat as “D.J.K.”, working at the US Embassy in Beirut. Lebanon. The Turkish police have video evidence of the American diplomat exchanging clothes with the Syrian at Istanbul airport before handing over the diplomatic passport, which had been identified as suspicious at passport control.
In addition, the US official was found to be carrying $10,000 in an envelope, was arrested, and remains in detention, the police statement said.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.
Ties between Turkey and the United States have been strained in recent years, not least over Turkey’s detention of U.S. diplomatic mission workers accused of ties to a network that Ankara blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016, Reuters reports.