India pursues Netherlands, Britain action against techies

Friday, 28 March 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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India is taking up with the Netherlands and Britain the arrest of the CEO of Bangalore based IT services company i-Flex Solutions in London and Amsterdam's decision to ask 13 Indian employees of the company to leave the country.

NEW DELHI: A senior external affairs ministry official said Friday it had sought consular access to Senthil Kumar, London-based CEO of i-flex Solutions Ltd, who was arrested on Wednesday and remanded in judicial custody.

"The embassy is not making any statement," a Netherlands embassy official told IANS. "We are directing all queries to the (foreign) ministry" in Amsterdam," the official said.

According to reports, London authorities arrested Kumar on a request from the Dutch authorities.

The Dutch have accused the company of importing Indian professionals on irregular visas that did not permit their employment.

They requested Britain for the arrest of the CEO on the ground that he was ultimately responsible for the company's offences, sources said.

The external affairs ministry official said they were in touch with the British and Dutch authorities to get Kumar released. "It doesn't look as serious like the Malaysia case and we hope to sort it out," he said.

He was referring to the arrest and ill treatment of some 300 Indian IT professionals in Malaysia this month during a crackdown on illegal immigrants that threatened to strain bilateral ties before Kuala Lumpur apologized for the incident.

The CEO of another Indian IT firm had been detained by Indonesian police in December for alleged violation of a contract agreement for professional services with a bank. He was released after the Indian government took up the matter.

The National Association of Software of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) has also taken up with the Dutch government the arrest of the CEO of the I-flex Solutions Ltd.

Nasscom president Kiran Karnik attributed the arrest to a "difference in perception between the company and the Dutch authorities."

He said his organization planned to work closely with the various embassies in Delhi and the Indian companies to ensure that employees being posted in other countries had proper visa.
Source: IANS

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