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Tue 27 Aug 2019 08:31 AM

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Lebanon arrests travel agency head after thousands stranded

Lebanon's Middle East Airlines filed a lawsuit against Fawaz in 2015 over outstanding debts owed by one of his several travel agencies

Lebanon arrests travel agency head after thousands stranded
New Plaza Tours left 'thousands of Lebanese' stranded in Turkey, Georgia and other countries without accommodation or return flights.

Lebanese authorities on Monday detained the owner of a travel agency accused of having left thousands of travellers stranded with fake flight and hotel reservations.

Fawaz Fawaz, the Lebanese owner of New Plaza Tours, was captured in Syria and transferred to Lebanon, the General Security agency said in a statement, without elaborating.

The security agency accused Fawaz of committing "fraud and embezzlement" through a travel agency, by selling fake flight tickets and hotel reservations.

This left "thousands of Lebanese" stranded in Turkey, Georgia and other countries without accommodation or return flights, it said.

Local media was rife with stories last week of Lebanese travellers forced to sleep on airport and hotel floors because of the scandal.

New Plaza Tours is reportedly not licensed by the tourism ministry.

On Friday, Lebanon's Middle East Airlines said it had filed a lawsuit against Fawaz in 2015 over outstanding debts owed by one of his several travel agencies.

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