British man remains in Turkish jail after accusations of ‘smuggling’ coins

A 52-year-old British ambulance driver is facing upwards of one month in a Turkish jail while he awaits a legal decision after being accused of smuggling ancient coins found by his children during the family’s vacation.

Toby Robyns, of Southwick, a small town in West Sussex, was arrested at Turkey’s Milas-Bodrum international airport on Aug. 19. It’s reported airport security found 12 coins—later determined to be “historical artifacts”—in his luggage. Robyns was returning from a family vacation and upon interrogation told Turkish officials the coins were found by his children while they were swimming.

“This was an innocent, albeit foolish, mistake and we now need to ensure Mr. Robyns is treated fairly and properly,” said MP Tim Loughton, who added he’s working with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office “to establish all of the facts.”


After an initial court hearing on Aug. 24, Robyns remains in Turkish jail while he awaits a decision. The father of five was initially detained at Milas prison but has since been moved to Mugla prison.

The 12 coins were sent by Turkish officials to Milas Museum for authentication.

If Robyns is found guilty, he could face a sentence of up to 10 years.


According to a story published by BBC late last month, Loughton said he was disappointed the judge did not dismiss the case against Robyns at the initial hearing.

“As I have said before, this was an innocent albeit foolish mistake and I hope the judge will dismiss the case as soon as possible,” Robyns told BBC. “There is an added concern that the judge’s final decision, to pardon or sentence, could take up to a month; however, we can be encouraged that we have a good ambassador working in Turkey who is pulling out all the stops to ensure Mr. Robyns is treated fairly and properly.”

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