Can hotel managers take possession of someones passport?

My boyfriend is in Nigeria on business and has encountered some problems with his bank acct here in the US. He needed to fly home to take care of it but the hotel manager where he is staying has taken hs passport and refuses to give it back until the hotel bill is payed in full. Can anyone tell us if they can do that and if not what measures would you advise we take to getit back?

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Your friend should always keep a certified copy of his passport, since some countries can legally hold your your passport. They do that to secure payment, since they can't get paid after a foreign visitor leaves the country.

Tell your boyfriend to get on the phone with his bank and get it fixed.

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