The Mumbai police have initiated the process of summoning India’s ambassador to Panama, Vishnu Hade, in connection with the passport issued to alleged tax evader Hasan Ali Khan.
The police said they were awaiting a response from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), which appoints diplomats. Hade is an Indian Foreign Service officer.
Joint commissioner of police, law and order, Rajnish Seth, told HT on Friday that the police had already sent a letter to the government of India “through proper channels” to facilitate Hade’s appearance before the Worli police for questioning. Sources said the letter, sent to the ministry of home affairs, had been forwarded to the MEA.
HT had first reported, on April 21, Hade’s alleged involvement in the issuance of the passport to Khan. Sources at Worli police station said during questioning, an assistant passport officer from the regional passport office at Worli, allegedly disclosed that he had been forced to issue the passport to Khan after Hade called him requesting it. The officer alleged that Hade, earlier the regional passport officer at Worli, was his boss and hence he could not turn down the request.
The Worli police arrested Khan on December 15, 2008, in a case of forgery, cheating and procuring passports using fake documents, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Indian Passport Act.
Khan had allegedly told the police that he had lost his original passport issued by the Hyderabad regional passport office in 2006, while he was in England. A new passport had been given to him by the Indian High Commission’s office, with a year’s validity. Khan allegedly travelled to several destinations in Switzerland and Canada on the passport, before finally applying for a new passport at the Pune passport office. It was later found he had a passport issued by the Mumbai passport office and one by the Patna passport office.