I-flex staff ordered out of Holland; local CEO detained in UK

I-flex staff ordered out of Holland; local CEO detained in UK

Dutch authorities have ordered twelve i-flex staff to leave the country and asked the UK to detain the local CEO of the Indian core banking systems group in connection with an investigation into alleged visa irregularities.

The detention of Senthil Kumar, chief executive of i-flex's Netherlands subsidiary who is based in London, comes amid a global tightening of immigration controls and a crackdown on alleged visa discrepancies by Indian software houses.

In early March, Malaysian police detained over 200 Indian programmers over alleged Visa violations, and in December the chief executive officer of Polaris Software was gaoled by Indonesian police for six days following a dispute with a local bank.

The incidents have sparked a flurry of diplomatic activity, with the Indian foreign ministry working overtime to smooth over damaged relations.

I-flex says its lawyers in the UK and the Netherlands are in touch with the respective authorities and that it has already initiated a high level effort in close collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of IT of India and Nasscom (National Association of Software Companies in India) and the respective consulates to secure Kumar's immediate release from detention.

I-flex's Dutch subsidiary is one of three overseas offices and was opened in May 2000. It has 20 employees of which 12 are Indians. The vendor insists that it follows rigorous norms for compliance with local rules and regulations and is advised by leading legal and accounting firms.

In a statement, i-flex says that it is working towards ensuring the "early and safe return" of the concerned employees and their families from the Netherlands and that it has initiated steps to address any potential impact to its banking clients.

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