Rise in naive tourist arrests

2013-08-28 15:43

London - The British Foreign Office has advised UK holidaymakers to research their destinations more thoroughly to avoid being fined or imprisoned for seemingly innocent activities such as feeding pigeons, playing bingo or eating close to a national monument. 

TravelMole reports that the office said that more than a quarter of the 19 000-plus travellers who were assisted by the consulate last year had been arrested or detained, but many could have avoided getting into trouble if they'd read up on local laws and customs before leaving home.

There has been a marked increase in arrests of UK travellers in Italy, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands, said the Foreign Office.

Britons can fall foul of the law in seemingly familiar destinations such as Italy, it said. In Florence you could be fined for eating or drinking in the immediate vicinity of churches and public buildings; in Venice it's against the law to feed pigeons.

Other unusual laws include:

- In Barbados it is an offence for anyone, including children, to wear camouflage clothing

- In Barcelona it is an offcence to wear bikini tops, trunks or go bare-chested away from the beach area

- Fiji prohibits topless sunbathing

- It is illegal to take mineral water into Nigeria

- Chewing gum is prohibited on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system

- Taking more than 200 cigarettes into Thailand is illegal

- In Japan it is illegal to use some nasal sprays which are commonly available elsewhere

Check out our list of crazy international laws to be aware of

Read more on:    travel  |  travel international

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