updated 5/26/2009 12:19:58 PM ET 2009-05-26T16:19:58

Seventeen British tourists arrested on the southern Greek island of Crete for dressing up in nun costumes and lingerie walked free Monday after a prosecutor dropped all charges against them.

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The tourists, all men and ranging in ages from late teens to about 60, were led into the courtroom still dressed in their nun costumes to face charges of causing a scandal by provocative acts and misrepresenting a uniform.

They had been in police custody since their arrest in the early hours of Sunday morning in the seaside holiday town of Malia, a resort popular with young tourists and notorious for rowdy and drunken behavior during the summer.

The prosecutor dropped all charges against the men and all 17 were released, the British Embassy said.

Misbehaving tourists, many from Britain, have become an increasing problem for Greek authorities in recent years at resorts on the islands of Rhodes, Crete and Corfu. In July 2007, Malia residents fed up with the antics of visitors blocked a highway on the island to protest the behavior of drunken tourists.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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