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Pakistan turns to Interpol in visa scandal

Published By United Press International
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 30 (UPI) -- Pakistan's Federal Investigative Authority will contact Interpol for red warrants against Mohammad Ali Asad in an Olympic visa scam, officials said.

The Pakistani government registered a case against Asad for fraud, impersonation and improper declarations, and is seeking his deportation from Britain, Dawn News reported Monday.

The scandal came to light after the British tabloid The Sun reported a scam involving fake documents for travel to London allegedly with Pakistan's Olympic contingent.

Asad is accused of being the British newspaper's "agent" and of distorting the facts, the Business Recorder said. Asad had a Pakistani passport and dual nationality, but he did not mention either when applying for a passport in Britain.

Last week, the Pakistani Cabinet announced it would sue The Sun for the "fabricated" story that alleged travel agents and a politician were involved in the scam, in which it was alleged anyone could travel with the Pakistani Olympic contingent as support staff if they pay a fee.

On Saturday, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik called The Sun's "pre-planned and concocted" story a conspiracy against Pakistan.

"Asad manipulated the true story to bring a bad name to Pakistan," Malik said.

"We have full right to get him deported," Malik said. "This is a test case for the United Kingdom. We have been cooperating with them for years and now it is time for them to reciprocate."

A red warrant is the closest document to an international arrest warrant currently used.

An investigation conducted by Pakistan's National Database & Registration Authority also dismissed the claims and called the report a "fake scam."

Dawn News reported the other main suspect in the investigation, Lahore-based politician Abid Chaudhry, appeared before the Federal Investigative Authority Monday and was asked to return Tuesday.

Chaudhry has maintained his innocence while accusing Asad. Chaudhry also demanded Asad be brought to Pakistan for investigation.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa