1,000 Schengen visa stickers stolen from Italian embassy in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Jun 29 (PTI) Around 1,000 Schengen visa stickers were stolen from the Italian Embassy in Pakistan this month, the Foreign Office said here on Tuesday.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in an interaction with media said the theft of visa stickers was reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Italian diplomatic mission, after which the information was immediately shared with the concerned departments.

The Italian embassy in Islamabad had approached Pakistan authorities for help to trace the theft of around 1,000 Schengen visa stickers from its locker room this month, he said.

“The information was immediately shared with the concerned authorities to take appropriate action,' Chaudhri said.

As per available information, 750 stolen visa stickers have serial numbers from ITA041913251 to ITA041914000 and the 250 visa stickers have the numbers from ITA041915751 to ITA041916000.

Schengen visa is valid for 26 European countries. These are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Italian embassy is located in the high security Diplomatic Enclave and no one can enter the area without special permission. A special wing of Islamabad police is deputed to provide round-the-clock security.

Police said it is the first such incident of its kind and human traffickers having links with people working inside the embassy might be involved in the theft.

However, officials said, anyone using the stolen visa stickers would be identified.

Officials at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said the number of stolen stickers were shared with the immigration officials at airports to arrest anyone using them. PTI SH SCY SCY

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