26 Jan 2010

Ghosh gives ultimatum in quest for new Vanuatu passport

2:40 pm on 26 January 2010

An Indian national, Amarendra Nath Ghosh, has reportedly given the Vanuatu immigration authorities an ultimatum to renew his Vanuatu passport by Friday or face legal action.

Last year, Vanuatu's Citizenship Commission advised the authorities not to renew his passport because Mr Ghosh was not a naturalised citizen and therefore not entitled to a passport.

But a close friend of Mr Ghosh and former prime minister, Barak Sope, says he was awarded a certificate as naturalised citizen and deserves to have his passport renewed.

Mr Ghosh was made the honorary Thai consul by Mr Sope and he offered the government a supposedly enormous ruby valued at 175 million US dollars.

The government had intended using it as collateral but the deal never went ahead and the ruby has never materialised.

An Ombudsman's report revealed the controversial businessman also deposited 20,000 US dollars in Mr Sope's wife's bank account.

In 2007, he tried to prevent his extradition from Germany to India by swallowing a knife.