NEW DELHI (AP) — A government official in New Delhi says the Indian diplomat who was arrested in New York on visa fraud charges had accused her housekeeper of blackmail over the summer.

Devyani Khobragade was arrested and strip-searched last week in a case that has caused a diplomatic firestorm between the United States and India.

Prosecutors say Khobragade lied on a visa application about how much she paid her housekeeper, an Indian national. The maid allegedly received less than $3 per hour.

On Thursday, an official in India’s External Affairs Ministry said Khobragade wrote to Indian authorities over the summer that the maid had disappeared and was trying to blackmail her. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about this case.