The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ahmed duo lose tenant

Bangalore, July 14: Kafeel and Sabeel Ahmed had leased office space to a visa facilitation company that now wants to scrap the deal and move out.

VFS Global India Limited — which collects visa applications on behalf of the British, American, Canadian, Italian and Austrian missions — has addressed legal notices to the brothers asking them to terminate the lease deed, which was being renewed yearly.

The company has been operating from the first floor of Presidency, a prime commercial complex on St Mark’s Road, for two years now. After it became public that the brothers were suspects in the failed UK car-bomb plots, the firm consulted the British high commission and was advised to shift its office elsewhere.

Kafeel and Sabeel owned the 1,500sqft office space — unit number 101 — and received a monthly rent of Rs 90,000. It’s not clear how big an advance the brothers were paid.

The notices have been sent to the Ahmeds’ Banashankari home and the company is waiting for a response. The family was not available for comment on whether they would refund the balance and terminate the deal on the brothers’ behalf.

The lease agreement was signed between the brothers and VFS. Kafeel and Sabeel had bought the unit — the building was constructed by Shariff Builders — a few years ago.

VFS follows a five-day week schedule and its office was closed today. “It will reopen on Monday morning,” the security guard said. There was no response from Shariff Builders as their office, too, was closed.

The first-floor unit doesn’t have a signboard. A board placed outside the first-floor balcony, seen from the ground floor, identifies it as a visa facilitation centre for the US, Canada, Italy and Austria.

VFS has another office on Cunningham Road, which only processes applications for British visas. The UK high commission has outsourced to VFS the collection and delivery of passports after visa approval.

Lawyer S. Poovayya, who sent the legal notices to the Ahmeds on behalf of VFS, would not comment. “It’s a matter between my client and their unit owner. It doesn’t concern the public,” he said.

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