Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general released on bail
Khobragade, a mid-level Indian diplomat, was released by a Manhattan court on a $250,000 bond
Devyani Khobragade, deputy consul general at the Indian Consulate in New York was arrested for allegedly presenting fraudulent documents in support of a visa application for an Indian national employed by her. Khobragade, a mid-level Indian diplomat, was released by a Manhattan court on a $250,000 bond on Thursday evening even as the Indian embassy in Washington expressed 'strong concern' over the unprecedented action by the US.
Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said, Khobragade, an officer from the Indian Foreign Services (IFS) was held on charges that she allegedly caused a materially false and fraudulent document to be presented, and materially false and fraudulent statements to be made, to the US Department of State in support of a visa application for an the Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York.
Indian officials, however, said the housekeeper, Sangeeta Richard, has been absconding since June 2013, and in September, the Delhi High Court had issued an-interim injunction Richards from instituting any actions or proceedings against Khobragade outside India on the terms or conditions of her employment.''
Khobragade is currently employed as the deputy consul general for Political, Economic, Commercial and Women’s Affairs at the Consulate General of India in New York. She is daughter of former IAS officer Uttam Khobragade and also member of the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.
“The false statements and fraud alleged to have occurred here were designed to circumvent those protections so that a visa would issue for a domestic worker who was promised far less than a fair wage. This type of fraud on the United States and exploitation of an individual will not be tolerated,” he said.
Khobragade was charged with one count of visa fraud and one count of making false statements, which carry maximum sentences of ten years and five years in prison, respectively.
“Foreign nationals brought to the US to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to US citizens,” Bharara said.
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