A screenshot of the visa application submitted for Devyani Khobragade's maid Sangeeta Richard indicates US authorities apparently misinterpreted information regarding the wage to be paid to the domestic help.
The US State Department investigator from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security seemingly erred by considering Khobragade's salary of $4,500 as that of her maid Sangeeta Richard.
That this discrepancy led to the arrest of Khobragade on charges of visa fraud in New York on December 12, is evident from the page one of the temporary work visa application and the complaint filed by Bureau of Diplomatic Security, sources said.
The relevant page of the visa application form (DS-160) clearly mentions that the employer's salary is $4,500 and not that of the maid, according to an authentic screenshot provided by sources to PTI.
The last question on the page is regarding the monthly salary of the employer and the screenshot shows the answer was given as $4,500.
Based on the same information, however, the 11-page complaint filed by the agent of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security alleges that Khobragade promised to pay $4,500 to her maid.
"The Visa Application stated that Witness-1 was to be paid $4,500 per month in US dollars," alleged Mark J Smith, special agent of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
It is this complaint which became the basis for the arrest warrant issued for Khobragade by a court in New York.
A press release issued by the Southern District of New York too made the same claim. "The Visa Application stated that Witness-1 was to be paid $4,500 per month," it said.
There was no immediate reaction from the State Department on the issue.