Saturday, 11 June 2011

Photo Opportunity?

French customs agent axed for fun with Obama passport

French authorities suspended a customs inspector for having a photo taken of himself with US President Barack Obama's passport as the leader entered France for the G8 summit, officials said Friday.
The inspector annoyed traveling US officials by posing for a souvenir picture after stamping Obama's passport as the White House delegation arrived on May 26, a union and local radio station France Bleu Cotentin reported.
"The American officials who handed over the passports of their delegation did not appreciate it," Philippe Bock, a local customs workers' representative of the Solidaires labor union, told AFP, confirming the report.
"The punishment came quickly," he added, saying the inspector was suspended and is likely to be transferred to another department.
The head of communications for the customs service, Jean-Roald L'Hermitte, confirmed there was "an incident involving a senior manager, during the passport check of foreign delegations."
France Bleu said it was the regional head of the customs service but L'Hermitte would not confirm this. He said the agent was suspended for up to three weeks and an investigation was under way.
Arriving for the summit in the northwestern resort of Deauville, Obama's presidential plane Air Force One landed at a minor local airport where customs officers rather than border police carry out passport controls.

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