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NRI charged with bribery

world Updated: Jul 27, 2007 12:10 IST

IANS
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An Indian American convenience store owner has been arrested on charges of attempting to pay $60,000 to a US government official in bribe to secure a multiple entry visa for his business partner's son.

Jiguveshkumar G Patel was arrested on Wednesday from his store in New Jersey and produced in court before being released on a $50,000 bond secured by property.

If convicted, Patel can get a jail sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to the complaint, Patel's business partner's son, who is an Indian citizen, was unable to obtain a visa to travel to the US, the Asbury Park Press newspaper reported.

Patel realised that the daughter of a patron worked for US Immigration. Patel approached the patron and offered to pay his daughter an initial sum of $20,000 and $40,000 later for a visa to get his associate's son into the country.

Patel told an undercover agent, who posed as the patron's daughter, that the partner's son was specifically interested in a multiple visa.

A multiple entry visa allows the holder to depart and re-enter the US on several occasions without having to apply for a new visa each time.