Launches probe against him, says his police records were clean when he had submitted his application for a Vanuatuan citizenship.

 

New Delhi: Confirming the news break by The Sunday Guardian titled “Ex-TMC youth leader flees to Vanuatu to escape Indian law” in its 20 June edition, the Vanuatu government has told the local media that police records of Vinay Mishra, who is an accused in multi-crore cow smuggling scam, were clear when he had submitted his application for Vanuatuan citizenship.

As per an interview to Daily Post, Vanuatu’s only daily newspaper, Chairman of Vanuatu Citizenship Office, Ronald Warsal, while referring to the story done by this newspaper on Mishra, confirmed that he had acquired the citizenship of the country in November 2020. The link to the interview was shared with this correspondent by the Vanuatu government in response to emails sent by this newspaper on Mishra being given a citizenship of Vanuatu despite facing criminal charges.

As per documents seen by this newspaper, Mishra’s Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) which he submitted in Vanuatu, as is required to apply for a citizenship for any foreign country, was issued on 27 May 2020 by Sujit Bhattacharya, DCP, Detective Department, Kolkata.

The certificate number of the same is 200527163211 and lists Mishra’s address as 28, Rakhal Das Auddy Road, Flat 6B, Kolkata and it states that Mishra had no criminal record in database in the Kolkata police jurisdiction from the time period between  1 May 2015 and 30 April 2020.

Warsal told the Daily Post that all the allegations (referring to The Sunday Guardian’s article) against Mishra had surfaced after he was given citizenship. Warsal told the Daily Post that the government was launching an investigation into Mishra to verify the allegations that have been leveled by the Indian media. Warsal further told the Daily Post that the Commission will revoke Msihra’s citizenship if he is convicted by Indian courts, as stated in Citizenship Act.

Mishra, a prominent TMC leader, became a citizen of Vanuatu under the Development Support Program (DSP). His new Vanuatu passport number is RV0119299.

His name had cropped up in the multi-crore cow smuggling scam that is being investigated by the CBI. Though the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of CBI had registered the FIR in the case on 21 September 2020, it had started its investigation in the case through a formal PE (Preliminary Enquiry) on 6 April 2018. After an investigation that spanned more than two years, it finally registered an FIR in the case in Sept. 2020. Wasrsal, in his interview to the Daily Post referred to a letter dated 26 October 2020 written by Floyd Mera, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which is addressed to the Acting Secretary General of the Citizenship Commission, that states that “no adverse or associate adverse information was found” against Mishra.

The Sunday Guardian reached out to both Warsal and Mera for their comment on the developments, but none was received till the time the story went to press.

“The checks were conducted via several secure global databases that maintain adverse information (blacklist, criminal, financial, corporate, terrorism, individual, political individual etc.) on natural and legal persons,” Mera had stated in the letter.