US citizen held in Pakistan on 'illegal stay' charges remanded to 14-day judicial custody

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Peshawar, Feb 26(ANI): US citizen Aaron Mark De Haven, who had been arrested by police in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on 'illegal stay' charges, has been sent to jail on a 14-day remand on Saturday.

Aaron made an appearance before Judicial Magistrate Qudratullah, who remanded him to judicial custody for two weeks under the Foreigners Act, Samaa TV reports.

The US national, who hails from Virginia, was taken into custody from Falcon Complex, a residential area in Peshawar, on Friday.

Aaron's visa had expired on October 23 last year, but he kept on staying in Pakistan without a valid visa document.

He told the court that he had married a Pakistani woman, and had also applied for the extension of his visa. The American also said that he had been running his own business in Peshawar.

Punishment for illegal stay in Pakistan is three months' imprisonment or deportation, police said.

The purpose of his visit was unclear but a security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told a foreign news agency that Aaron had been working with private security agency Catalyst in Islamabad.

Another police official Hashmat Khan said that a team of police and intelligence agencies had started an investigation in this regard, and quoted the US national as saying that he had travelled to Peshawar to meet a Pakistani girl.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy said in a statement that it was aware of the reported arrest and was arranging consular access to Aaron through the Pakistan government.

"We have seen press reports that an American citizen named Aaron Mark De Haven has been detained by police in Peshawar," the statement said.

"Until a U.S. government representative meets with him, we cannot confirm additional details," it added. (ANI)

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