An arrest warrant was on Saturday issued against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud charges after her fresh indictment by U.S. prosecutors who accused her of “illegally” underpaying and “exploiting” her domestic help.

39-year-old Ms. Khobragade, who was arrested in New York on December 12, and has since been transferred to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, faces arrest if she visits the U.S. where her husband and two children are staying.

Following the fresh 21-page indictment, U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara said in a letter to U.S. District Judge William Pauley that an “arrest warrant was also issued today” against the diplomat and that the government “will alert the court immediately upon the defendant’s arrest so that an appearance” before the judge may be scheduled.

The new charges, which came two days after a U.S. court dismissed an earlier indictment on Wednesday, accused her of visa fraud and making false statements about the visa application of her domestic help Sangeeta Richard.

The indictment states that the diplomat “knowingly made” multiple false representations and presented false information to U.S. authorities in order to obtain a visa for a personal domestic worker.

The fresh indictment filed in a court in Manhattan also charges that Ms. Khobragade submitted to the U.S. State Department an employment contract of her domestic worker which she knew contained “materially false and fraudulent statements”.

A grand jury had earlier returned a true bill on the two-count criminal indictment of Ms. Khobragade.

The indictment said, “Ms. Khobragade did not want to pay the victim the required wages under U.S. law or provide the victim with other protections against exploitative work conditions mandated by U.S. law.”… see more

source: thehindu