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Archive for August 10, 2019

Newsline: Czech Ambassador to Iran Resigns Amid Visa Fraud Allegations

The ambassador of the Czech Republic in Iran Svatopluk Čumba, has resigned this week amidst allegations that he sold 400 short-stay visas to Iranian businesspersons that were recommended by the Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce. The General Inspection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously examined the Czech embassy in Tehran for possible involvement with visa trade with hundreds of Iranians. According to their report, Jan Kavan and Zdeněk Zbytek from the Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce issued recommendations to the visa beneficiaries, who were soon granted with Schengen visas by the Czech embassy in Tehran, with the ambassador pushing the consular service of the embassy to process their applications with priority. “True, I helped mediate visas for Iranian entrepreneurs,” Čumba confirmed, denying that he received any money for this and giving no more comments on the issue. (https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/czech-ambassador-to-iran-resigns-amid-allegations-he-sold-schengen-visas-to-iranian-businesspersons/) According to the Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, there is no evidence of visa bargaining in the Czech embassy in Tehran. “We have no direct evidence of any trade [with Schengen visas], the audit report focused primarily on those visa processes, we found some failure and we took appropriate steps in this direction,” minister Petříček said. On the other hand, the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current chair of the Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Jan Kavan, denies that the embassy has committed any wrongdoing in issuing these visas. Still, in an interview for irozhlas.cz, he admits that the Chamber did send out 400 visa recommendations for Iranian entrepreneurs.