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US warns Indian students against visa fraud rings

world Updated: Jul 31, 2011 01:31 IST

As another American university came under the scanner, the United States asked Indian students to be alert to the existence of "predatory visa fraud rings and fraudulent document vendors".

"We are following the case closely and we're in communication with the government of India," state department spokesman Mark Toner said Saturday, a day after a raid on the University of Northern Virginia.

Based in Annandale, a Washington suburb, the unaccredited, for-profit private university has some 2,400 students of which 90% are from India, registered at three locations in northern Virginia.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/31_07_pg18c.jpg

The US embassy in New Delhi has briefed the external affairs ministry and the US department of homeland security and the state department have been in contact with the Indian embassy in Washington, Toner said.

Declining to give details, the spokesman said "it's important to note that a hundred thousand Indians are receiving a good education at certified US institutions each year, and we certainly welcome the contribution of Indian students wishing to study in the US".

"And of course, we caution them to be alert to the existence of these so-called predatory visa fraud rings and fraudulent document vendors," he said.

US immigration and customs enforcement has warned the university it could withdraw the school's authorisation to admit foreign students.

Agency spokesperson Cori Bassett, however, would not say why the action was taken, saying it is part of a pending investigation.