Pakistani man arrested for defrauding US embassy

08:31 PM | 10 Feb, 2022
Pakistani man arrested for defrauding US embassy
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KARACHI – The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a man for getting US visa fraudulently by impersonating as a journalist.

The Anti-Human Trafficking Circle of the agency nabbed the suspect on the complaint filed the US Consulate General Karachi.

A letter sent by the consulate to FIA states, “The Consulate General Karachi received information that an individual identified as Muhammad Ijaz Ahmed Cheema falsely claimed his employment as a foreign news correspondent with a private news channel in support of two US non-immigration visa applications.

“To substantiate the allegations, US Consulate General Karachi opened an investigation, which confirmed the following facts. “On September 13, 2019, Cheema presented himself to US Embassy Islamabad for the purpose of applying for a US non-Immigrant Foreign Media Representative ‘1’ visa. To support his claim as a foreign media representative, Cheema provided an employment letter from private news channel stating he was a ‘Senior Reporter.’ Furthermore, Cheema listed in his visa application that he was employment at Hum News since February-2, 2017, until present. US Embassy Islamabad issued Cheema his ‘I’ visa on September-17, 2019 in his Pakistan passport,” a media report cited the letter as stating.

In September 2019, Cheema travelled to the US and used his Pakistani passport. He was admitted by US immigration based on his visa issuance as a foreign news reporter to cover the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York. He departed the US three days later. On Nov 12, 2019, Cheema presented himself to the US Consulate for the purpose of applying for a US non-immigrant B1 and B2 tourist visa. In his visa application, he listed his present employer as Hum News as a senior news media correspondent and he was issued with a B1/B2 visa on Nov 13, 2019, on his passport, it added.

In October 2020 he travelled to the US and used his passport and was admitted by US immigration based on his B1/B2 tourist visa. He departed the US the following month. On January 27, 2022, the US Consulate General Karachi Overseas Criminal Investigations requested Hum News to confirm Cheema's employment. The Senior Human Resource Manager confirmed that Cheema was never employed at Hum News.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that another individual identified as Samia Faisal falsely claimed her employment as a foreign news correspondent with Hum News in support of two US non-immigrant visa applications. The US Consulate opened an additional investigation, which confirmed the following facts. On September 6, 2019 Ms Samia presented herself to the US Embassy Islamabad for the purpose of applying for a non-immigrant Foreign Media Representative “I” visa. She listed in her visa application that she had been employed at Hum News since May 2, 2016. She further stated she was a media journalist.

The US Embassy Islamabad denied her a visa, The News reported.

On March 3, 2020, she presented herself to the US Embassy for the purpose of applying for another US non-Immigrant Foreign Media Representative “I” visa. She listed in her visa application that she had been employed at Hum News since January-25, 2019. She further stated she was a media professional. The US Embassy Islamabad rejected her visa application. On January 31, 2022, the US Consulate General Overseas Criminal Investigations requested Hum News to confirm Samia Faisal’s employment. The senior human resource manager confirmed that she was never employed at Hum News. Director Farooqui said a case was registered against Ejaz Ahmed Cheema and others. He said Anti-Human Trafficking Circle personnel raided some locations and apprehended Cheema.

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