Kuwaitis banned from leaving Sri Lanka over assault

COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan court yesterday impounded the passports of a Kuwaiti couple who tried to smuggle a dog into the country and assaulted five customs officers who tried to stop them. A magistrate ordered immigration authorities to prevent the couple from leaving Sri Lanka and fixed a court hearing for Aug 10. The 32-year-old woman and her 29-year-old male partner were arrested on Friday after they turned violent after being informed of quarantine requirements.

They assaulted five customs officers who tried to stop them fleeing the airport with the animal, police said. The couple has been released on a 400,000-rupee ($2,500) bail. The dog, a Bernese mountain breed, remains with them. The tourists were also ordered to be present at a separate customs investigation. “We will question them on Tuesday and appropriate action will be taken thereafter,” customs department spokesman Vipula Minuwanpitiya told AFP. Bringing pets into the island without quarantine clearance can lead to the forfeiture of the animal as well as a fine of up to 100,000 rupees ($625). Airport police said they had never recorded such a case over a pet dog. – AFP

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