Israeli tourist holds Venice money exchange worker hostage over rates
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Pulled down shutters, prevented woman from leaving booth

Israeli tourist holds Venice money exchange worker hostage over rates

Man arrested for kidnapping after raging over amount of euros received for $100, barricading himself inside office with frightened female employee

A view of St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, June 2019 (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A view of St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, June 2019 (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

An Israeli tourist was arrested in Venice after holding a worker at a currency exchange hostage over a money dispute, Italian media reported Wednesday.

A police statement said the 46-year-old man was arrested after he barricaded himself inside the currency exchange office with a female worker.

The man was reportedly dissatisfied with the exchange rate he’d received while exchanging $100 to euros, and demanded to reverse the transaction and be refunded his money.

“He pulled down the shutters and prevented the woman from getting out of her booth for more than half an hour,” CNN quoted local police as saying, adding that the worker was “dismayed and frightened.”

According to the statement, the Israeli tourist has been arrested for kidnapping.

This is not the first case of an Israeli tourist leaving a bad impression in Italy this year.

In April, a woman was detained in Rome for vandalizing a column at the city’s iconic Colosseum. Olga Segal was leading a children’s dance troupe through Rome when she passed one of the inner pillars in the Roman arena, the world’s largest amphitheater, which dates from 70-80 CE. She stopped to pick up a piece of stone to scratch the troupe’s name into the column. She was then arrested by police.

Segal later apologized, saying the column “had names of people from all over the world scrawled on it,” and said her actions were an innocent mistake.

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