Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade paid her help a third of New York wage

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Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade was arrested by US law enforcement authorities on visa fraud charges and released on a USD 250,000 bond after she pleaded not guilty. Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade was arrested by US law enforcement authorities on visa fraud charges and released on a USD 250,000 bond after she pleaded not guilty.
SummaryAlthough minimum US hourly wage is $9.75, Khobragade's housekeeper was paid $3.31 an hour.

area in the US.

Bharara alleged that Khobragade made false statements in a visa application for an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York.

Khobragade was serving as acting head of the Indian consulate at the time of her arrest. She was charged with one count each of visa fraud and making false statements, which carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years and five years, respectively.

The Indian Embassy in Washington said in a statement that it had “immediately conveyed its strong concern” to the US government over the action. “The US side have been urged to resolve the matter with due sensitivity, taking into account...the diplomatic status of the officer concerned,” it said.

Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer, told PTI in New York that she could not talk to the media as the matter is “subjudice” but said she is doing fine. Khobragade joined the consulate last year and was previously posted in Germany, Italy and Pakistan.

The court has ordered Khobragade not to leave the US but said she could travel within the country only if she gives advance notice.

The Indian Embassy said it had been informed about Khobragade being taken into custody. It said the action was apparently taken on the basis of allegations made by her former India-based domestic assistant, Sangeeta Richard, who has been absconding since June.

The Delhi High Court issued an interim injunction in September to restrain Richard from instituting any action against Khobragade outside India on the terms or conditions of her employment.

“The US Government had subsequently been requested to locate Richard and facilitate the service of an arrest warrant, issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate of the South District Court in New Delhi under Sections 387, 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code,” the embassy said.

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