GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A holiday turned into a nightmare for a Syrian tourist visiting Malaysia, after he ended up being detained for almost a month over a charge of entering the country without proper documents.
Twenty-five-year-old businessman Mohamad Alhassan Abdul Razzak Alnador was detained on Sept 22 and charged in a magistrate's court on Oct 6. He pleaded not guilty, but was only released on bail two weeks later.
On Friday (Nov 4), magistrate Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid ordered Mr Mohamad Alhassan's passport to be returned after the prosecution withdrew the charge.
He was accused of being without a valid travel document on Sept 26 at about 2.46pm at the state police contingent's headquarters.
Mr Mohd Alhassan told the court that his visit to Malaysia was his second to the country.
"I came here as a tourist because I love Malaysia. I entered the country legally. I have lost 14kg since my arrest," he said.
His lawyer, Mr R.S.N. Rayer, urged the court to caution the police and Immigration Department to be more diligent in their duties "so tourists who come in and support the country's tourism do not end up like my client".
Mr Rayer told reporters his client was arrested when the Immigration Department failed to verify that he had entered Malaysia legally.
He said the charge was only withdrawn on Friday after the department confirmed that he had entered legally through KLIA when they checked the endorsement on the passport.
Mr Mohamad Alhassan said he is considering taking legal action for wrongful arrest.