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Indian consulate official held in US

New York, Dec. 12 (PTI): Devyani Khobragade, the deputy consul-general at the Indian consulate here, was arrested today for allegedly furnishing false documents in support of a visa application for a fellow citizen employed by her, an official said.

“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,” Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said.

“The false statements and fraud alleged to have occurred here were designed to circumvent those protections so that a visa would be issued 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, 39, 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.

Khobragade was charged with one count of visa fraud and one count of making false statements, which carry maximum sentences of 10 years and five years in prison, respectively.