Over 1,000 Schengen visa stickers stolen from Italian embassy

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According to details, more than 1,000 Schengen visas were stolen from the Italian embassy in connivance with an Italian lady from the visa section. The lady was afterwards transferred to another country

Staff Report/DNA

ISLAMABAD: More than 1,000 Schengen visa stickers have been stolen from the Italian embassy. Sources have revealed the robbery took place during the shifting of the embassy.

According to details, more than 1,000 Schengen visas were stolen from the Italian embassy in connivance with an Italian lady from the visa section. The lady was afterwards transferred to another country. The incident took place many months ago when the Italian embassy premises was shifted to new place near the French Embassy.

The new Italian embassy is to be built and tenders have also been floated. But before start of the construction this scandal came to the fore. Sources says while sifting wherewithal from the old place to the new make-shift embassy, visas stickers were stolen. Sources say the number of visas stolen may be much higher than reported.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has shared information with the relevant departments for an “appropriate action” on the theft of Schengen visa stickers from Italian embassy.

In response to questions by journalists, Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the theft of visa stickers was reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the foreign diplomatic mission, after which the information was immediately shared with the concerned departments.

“The information was immediately shared with the concerned authorities for taking appropriate action in this regard,” he said.

According to reports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the Interior Ministry and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on report of around 1,000 visa stickers stolen from the locker-room of Italian embassy in Islamabad this month.

The concerned departments have been requested to keep track of the visa stickers at all entry and exit points and report any seizure to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As per available information, 750 stolen visa stickers have serial numbers from ITA041913251 to ITA041914000 and the 250 visa stickers have the numbers from ITA041915751 to ITA041916000.

Further investigations are underway and soon it will be determined if any Pakistani (s) was also involved in this scam. Sources have hinted at involvement of some locals also.