Thousands of Indian visa stickers have gone missing while being transported from London Heathrow airport to the Indian High Commission earlier this month. Indian immigration officials have blocked the visa stickers to prevent any misuse of the stolen visas.
The Indian High Commission was intimated by the clearing agent that handles the diplomatic bags for Indian High Commission about the missing four diplomatic bags on September 3rd, 2012. The bags contained 6000 Indian visa stickers.
The Spokesperson said, “The bags were being transported from Heathrow Airport by the clearing agent, who handles ‘B and ‘C’ category diplomatic bags of the High Commission since last several years.”
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has blocked all the missing visa stickers. Furthermore, all the entry point staff have been provided with the serial numbers of the stolen stickers.
The ministry also changed the practice of receiving the diplomatic bags at the Heathrow airport. Currently, the clearing agents receive the diplomatic bags and deliver to the High Commission. From now on an Indian High Commission official will receive the diplomatic bags to prevent any further incidence of security breach in future.
Indian High Commission has registered a case for the stolen visa stickers with the Metropolitan London police. The police is investigating the case.
The category B and C diplomatic bags do not contain secret documents and communications.
The Indian ministry of external affairs must have to take concrete steps to not only prevent such incident in future but also ensure that stolen visa stickers are not used by the terrorists.