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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

70 Indian passports stolen in US

PTI  Washington, March 11, 2014
First Published: 12:13 IST(11/3/2014) | Last Updated: 20:09 IST(11/3/2014)

About 70 Indian passports have reportedly been stolen from a private company, to which the Indian consulate in the US city of San Francisco has outsourced various visa and passport related services.

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The serious breach of security is being investigated by the San Francisco police department.

Both the Indian consulate and the local police have informed the state department and the relevant federal authorities so that these passports are not misused, a media report said.

At least 70 Indian passports were stolen from BLS International's San Francisco office, in late November last year, an Indian-American publication India West reported.

The San Francisco police department began investigating the case on December 2, 2013. According to the investigating officer, a BLS employee told the police that the passports, along with cash and cheques, were taken from a locked safe.

The Indian consulate in San Francisco has cancelled the stolen passports.

The cancelled passports cannot be used for fraudulent travel, as they are machine-readable and verified through a system that is used throughout the world, the newspaper quoted a consulate official as saying.

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