Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade leaves US after visa fraud indictment

Eurasia News

NEW YORK: The Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, whose arrest and strip-searching in New York last month had caused a major rift between India and Washington, left the United States after she was indicted on charges of visa fraud and making false statements.

The 39-year-old Khobragade‚ who was deputy consul-general in New York‚ was arrested on December 12 and charged with one count of visa fraud and another of making false statements about how much she paid her housekeeper.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Manhattan formally indicted Khobragade on charges of visa fraud and making false statements. However, later in the day the Indian diplomat left the US after she was granted diplomatic immunity.

The charges against Khobragade will remain active until she can be brought back to the US.

Khobragade’s arrest and strip-search spurred outrage in India as New Delhi took a series of retaliatory measures against the United States including removing security barriers outside the US embassy in the capital.