Flashing, spitting and stealing knickers: strange things that can get you deported

Deported for playing <em>Aung San Suu Kyi</em> in The Lady: Michelle Yeoh.
Deported for playing Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady: Michelle Yeoh. 

A British woman was arrested and threatened with deportation this week after Sri Lankan authorities took offence to her Buddha tattoo.

The unidentified woman was arrested at the country's main international airport on Monday and appeared before a magistrate who ordered her deportation, police said in a statement.

Sri Lanka, a majority Buddhist nation, is highly sensitive to perceived threats to the religion. In August 2012, three French tourists were sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended for five years, for kissing a Buddha statue in what the authorities considered was a sign of disrespect.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the founder of modern Turkey.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the founder of modern Turkey. Photo: Getty Images

Sri Lanka also prevented US rap star Akon from visiting in 2010 after one of his music videos featured scantily clad women dancing in front of a Buddha statue. Here are some more strange reasons for people being forcibly ejected from a country.

 

For stealing Queen Victoria's knickers

A British tourist displays a tattoo of the Buddha on her upper arm, after she was arrested at Sri Lanka's main international airport.
A British tourist displays a tattoo of the Buddha on her upper arm, after she was arrested at Sri Lanka's main international airport. Photo: AFP

During the first half of the 19th century, more than 165,000 Britons were deported to Australia, many for seemingly minor crimes. One of the most unusual cases, however, involved 14-year-old Edward Jones, often cited as the world's first celebrity stalker. The youngster broke into Buckingham Palace on at least three occasions, spent hours hiding under Queen Victoria's sofa and was caught with a pair of Her Majesty's underwear spilling from his trousers. Due to the embarassment caused by the lapse in security, Jones was tried in secret, and - it was revealed in 2011 - eventually deported Down Under.

For flashing at a statue

Few people anywhere in the world are as revered as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is in Turkey, the nation he established. Someone should've told Thomas Strong from Carlisle. During a holiday in Marmaris in 2009, the 19-year-old approached a statue of the great man, dropped his shorts and "waved his manhood" while letting rip with a torrent of abuse. Locals were so furious they called the police and Strong was sent packing.

Ayhan Hatay, who watched Strong's actions in horror, said: "Lots of tourists come and look at the Ataturk statue and take pictures. But this lad was something else – he stripped his clothes off and started waving his manhood and swearing at Ataturk. The police were there in minutes and took him away in handcuffs. To be honest he's lucky it was the police that took him – Ataturk is a national hero."

For being too handsome

It's safe to assume there are a number of ways to be deported from Saudi Arabia, including - it would seem - being ridiculously good-looking. Last year three gentlemen for the UAE were ejected from the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Riyadh, and sent back home, according to local reports, for "being too handsome". "A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them," Arabic language newspaper Elaph reported.

For spitting

In January Prime Minister Tony Abbott threatened to deport foreigners who spit, swear or "irritate people". Visiting footballers need not panic - the code of behaviour only applies to those seeking asylum in the country.

For playing the guitar

A feature in Vice magazine last year revealed that a German was deported from America for travelling with his guitar. He said he planned to take part in open mic nights, but officials believed he was planning to seek employment.

For speeding

A report last year revealed that as many as 1258 expats were deported from Kuwait for traffic offences in the space of a single month. Foreign residents caught driving without a licence, using their cars to carry paying passengers, jumping a red light more than once, or breaking the speed limit by more than 25 miles (40.23km) per hour, can be deported without a court order.

For living in the wrong suburb

Last year a British couple was threatened with eviction from Australia for a seemingly minor infringement of their visas. Their documents required them to live in a "regional" area, but the suburb of Brisbane in which they had settled was deemed to be inside a "city". Had they bought a house less than three miles down the road, everything would have been in order.

For playing Aung San Suu Kyi

Michelle Yeoh, the actress and Bond girl from Tomorrow Never Dies, was deported from Burma in 2011. Although no reason was given for her ejection, the fact that she'd just finished filming The Lady, where she played the lead role of Aung San Suu Kyi, was widely thought to be responsible.

For flipping the bird

Under the snappily-titled Federal Penal Code 3, expats in Dubai may be deported for a number of "indecent" acts. This includes, it was revealed by local media sources in 2011, flashing someone your middle finger.

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