British man detained for 'patting' guard in Egypt returns to UK

Lizzie Dearden
Help Tony Camoccio/Facebook

A British man who was allegedly arrested for patting a male security guard on the back at an Egyptian airport is due to return home.

Tony Camoccio, a 51-year-old businessman from London, had been on holiday with his wife and a large group of friends when he was detained on 8 February.

Supporters said he was at Hurghada airport, on the Red Sea coast, when he “gently patted the officers’ back” during a standard search.

Friends feared he would be falsely accused of sexual assault over the incident and said he was kept in “inhuman conditions” in custody.

Following a petition signed by more than 6,000 and widespread media coverage, Mr Camoccio was freed from custody and expected to fly back to the UK on Sunday.

The Detained In Dubai campaign group said he had paid approximately £1,000 in bail and related fees.

Chief executive Radha Stirling said: “The case has been dismissed for lack of evidence, and Tony will be flying home to the UK on the next available flight from Cairo.

"While the charges were clearly without merit, we have to emphasise that had British authorities and the international press not paid attention to this case, there is no reason to believe that Tony would be a free man today.

"The dangers of legal abuse in Egypt are severe and, despite their quick resolution of this case, anyone considering travel to the country should be aware of the risks."

Mr Camoccio, who has visited Egypt several times previously, thanked the group, his relatives, lawyers and consular officials for their help.

“I’m very excited to be heading home and can’t wait to see all of my family and rest after the past week’s events,” he added. “I’m very thankful to everyone for their support.”

His family were said to be “absolutely thrilled” to welcome him home.

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