The American consulate on Thursday announced the possibility of imposing a 'lifetime ban on traveling to US' of nearly 200 South Indian film artists, including actors and directors for using their positions to lend credibility to 'a second unqualified applicant.'
"The film figures, even though they themselves may actually have qualified for visas and did not intend to live or work illegally in the US, are equally guilty as the others. They perpetrated fraud and assisted in people smuggling," , Consular general of US for Chennai said at a press conference held here.
At the same time, the Consul General reiterated that the Consulate's action against this visa fraud scheme was not a condemnation of the South Indian film industry and that they welcome the increasing technical and artistic collaboration between Indian filmmakers and their counterparts in the US.
Now the United States Consulate in Chennai and other US visa offices in India have stepped up vigilance to curb the fraudulent activities further.
According to Chennai police some of the leading artists and film personalities including few producers have involved in this fraud.
For the same reason only, actress Flora and three others have been arrested a couple of days before. But the police refused to reveal others names those linked in this fraud.
It is a shame on us! - Sarath
The artists union President Sarath Kumar reacted for this issue and comments that it was a shame that a section of the industry had involved in such bad things for 'smaller gains'. According to Sarath Kumar, the US consulate is yet to discuss about the issue with him and if they identified the culprits he would be ready to disbar them from the union.