Borat actor offers to pay mankini fines

Image copyright PA

Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay fines for six Czech tourists who were arrested in Kazakhstan for wearing nothing but ‘Borat’-inspired mankinis.

The group had posed for photos in the capital city of Astana.

On 14 November, local media reported the tourists had been fined 22,500 tenge ($67; £51) each for their “indecent” appearance.

The notorious one-piece was made famous by the English actor’s character, Borat, a fictional Kazakh TV presenter.

“To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I’ll pay your fine,” the comedian wrote on Facebook.

Image copyright
Image caption The Czech men were detained for “minor hooliganism” after posing in freezing temperatures

There has been a mixed response to the incident from Kazakh social media users.

“They [Czechs] should have been jailed for a year. Then others would have drawn lessons!!!” Facebook user Bulat Sapargaliyevich said.

“Where are the men of Astana? This man [Baron Cohen] should be detained, his hands and legs should be tied up and then he should be dragged on the streets!” Bek Zhanturin added.

Others were more sympathetic.

“Good job, Sacha Baron Cohen! He is alone doing more than our entire PR ragtag team does to promote the trademark of Kazakhstan,” Kazakh blogger Askar Japarov said.

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sacha Baron Cohen as Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev

Baron Cohen’s comedy film Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, follows the character of Borat Sagdiyev as he travels to the US to make a documentary.

The film earned the actor a Golden Globe award but also attracted controversy.

Kazakhstan banned the film and sales of the DVD and the authorities threatened to sue him.

But in 2012, the Kazakh foreign minister publicly thanked Baron Cohen for boosting tourism in the central Asian state.

Mankinis could get you in trouble closer to home too.

In 2012, mankinis and other “inappropriate clothing” were banned in Newquay in a bid to reduce crime and shed the Cornish seaside town’s stag party reputation.

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