An Indian diplomat who championed women's rights is being criminally charged in New York for paying her female nanny $3.31 an hour and lying about it on the woman's visa application.
Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general for political, economic, commercial and women’s affairs, was arrested and handcuffed this week as she dropped her daughter off at a Manhattan school.
Although Khobragade was actually the acting head of the consulate at the time of her arrest, the United States is denying diplomatic immunity, saying that visa fraud isn't covered under the Vienna convention.
In addition to the women's affairs part of her job title, Khobragade has repeatedly put herself out in the press as an advocate for “underprivileged” women’s rights.
According to the US Attorney's office, however, Khobragade was doing the opposite at home. Authorities say she helped her nanny fill out fake visa forms which said Khobragade was paying her $4,500 per month, or $3,927 a month more than the woman's actual $3.31-an-hour salary, which they documented in a secret contract.
Khobragade's nanny and husband will both be called as witnesses if the case proceeds to trial.
The arrest has caused diplomatic stir. India's Foreign Secretary has called on the US Ambassador to India to speak out against Khobragade's arrest. Khobragade's attorney is calling it political.
“I don’t know. I think there must be some political motivation, but I don’t know,” Daniel Arshack told CBS.
Khobragade was freed on a $250,000 bail. She's facing up to 15 years for fraud and making false statements.
[image via Facebook]