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Sacha Baron Cohen Wants to Reimburse Tourists Fined for Wearing Borat's Mankini

The 'Borat'-loving tourists were arrested in Kazakhstan for dressing up like Cohen's character.

by River Donaghey
21 November 2017, 6:15pm

Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage

Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen will foot the bill for those Czech tourists who were fined for wearing mankinis, Cohen said Monday.

Last week, the BBC reported that Kazakhstani police arrested six Czech men in the city of Astana after they dressed up like Borat for a photo op, complete with Borat-style wigs and matching lime-green mankinis. They were reportedly charged about $67 each for "minor hooliganism" and sent on their way.

Cohen, of course, made the mankini famous in his 2006 film and on the beach at Cannes during its premiere. He apparently felt some responsibility when he heard about the arrest and decided he should shell out the $400 or so for the men's failed Borat tribute.

"To my Czech mates who were arrested," Cohen wrote in a Facebook post Monday night, "send me your details and proof that it was you, and I'll pay your fine."

He also included an email address where the guys should contact him: arrestedforwearingyourmankini@gmail.com.

Borat—or, for the sake of accuracy, Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan—was a massive hit in the United States but didn't go over so well in Kazakhstan, the supposed home country of Cohen's hapless alter-ego. The country banned Cohen from using its .kz domain, threatened him with lawsuits, and floated the idea of banning the film from Kazakhstan entirely.

In the years following the movie's release, though, Kazakhstan has seemingly warmed to the movie. In 2012, the country's then foreign minister said he was "grateful" to Cohen for reportedly increasing the country's tourism ten-fold. Apparently tourists in mankinis is still pushing it.

It's still unclear whether the Czech men have taken Cohen up on the offer—or if they ever managed to get the group photo that started this whole thing.