Indian Diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, Indicted On Fraud Charges

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was arrested in the US last month after being accused of visa fraud and underpaying her housekeeper. Khobragade was indicted Thursday on two criminal charges, though. According to ABC News, “prosecutors told a judge that she had been granted diplomatic immunity and left the country earlier in the day.”

The arrest of Khobragade, 39, last month sparked quite the controversy that lead India to demand that the US apologize for “humiliating” her not only by arresting her, but also strip-searching the diplomat before housing her in a cell with other criminal defendants before being released on bail. During the ordeal, Khobragade denied all charges and maintained her innocence.

The trouble began when Khobragade was accused of claiming to pay her Indian housekeeper $4,500 per month, and then paying her less than the US minimum wage. The diplomat has not been arraigned because, according to prosecutors, Khobragade had recently been given diplomatic immunity status and left the US. US Attorney Preet Bharara wrote the following in a letter to the judge:

“We will alert the court promptly if we learn that the defendant returns to the United States in a non-immune capacity, at which time the government will proceed to prosecute this case and prove the charges in the indictment.”

ABC News stated that, according to the indictment, “Khobragade had made multiple false representations to U.S. authorities, or caused them to be made, to obtain a visa for a personal domestic worker. She planned to bring to worker the United States in September 2012 when she worked at the Consulate General of India in New York.”

According to BBC News, after the arrest of Khobragade, Delhi ordered a series of diplomatic reprisal measures against the US, and relations between India and the US have been strained over the case.

[Image via Scrape Tv]