The Andhra Pradesh police jointly with the Naval intelligence have arrested thirteen people, including eleven Navy personnel and two civilians, in connection with an alleged espionage case. It has been revealed that they were honey-trapped by the Pakistani ISI operatives on social media after which these men had leaked sensitive information related to the Indian Navy through their social media profiles.
“The 11 Navy personnel and the two civilians have been apprehended in connection with the espionage case so far while a large number of social media profiles of service personnel are under the scanner for being in touch with the suspicious profiles,” Navy sources told ANI.
The Navy personnel apprehended by the police are from the different naval bases including Mumbai, Karwar (Karnataka) and Visakhapatnam.
The investigation began after the Andhra Pradesh Police, Naval Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agencies in a joint operation arrested seven navy personnel who have been allegedly involved in espionage.
After the misuse of social media by the naval personnel came to light, the Indian Navy imposed a strict ban on the use of smartphones and social media applications such as Facebook by its personnel.
Pakistan intelligence is increasingly using social media for spying activities. It has long been trying to lure the armed force personnel for carrying out espionage against India.
Last month it was revealed that one Army jawan named Sepoy Somveer Singh, who was arrested four months back on charges of espionage in Jaiselmer, got in touch with one ‘Anika Chopra’ over Facebook and was chatting regularly with her and exchanging details and information about the armoured unit including its movement. Following this, multiple accounts of officers and jawans are under probe with whom ‘Anika Chopra’ was in touch with. Now, as many as 50 jawans are under investigation.
A few months back, an Engineer at Brahmos facility in Nagpur, Nishant Agarwal, was arrested for alleged spying and passing on sensitive information to his ISI handlers. Even then Pakistani handlers had used social media accounts of women to honeytrap Agarwal.
In October last year, an Indian Army soldier of Meerut Cantonment was caught and several others detained by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad on the charges of espionage activities carried out on the directions of the infamous ISI. The arrested jawan was stationed in the Army’s Signal Regiment in Meerut Cantonment.
In September last year, Uttar Pradesh ATS team had arrested a BSF Jawan, Achutanand Misra, a resident of Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district, for sharing vital information about India’s defence preparedness with ISI lackeys. He was “honey-trapped” by a woman claiming to be a journalist into sharing information about unit operational details, police academy and training centre. Prior to that, a person named Ramesh who worked as a cook in an Indian diplomat’s house was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir military Intelligence Unit and the Uttar Pradesh police from Pithoragarh for bugging the house and passing off the information to the ISI.
Recently, a suspected Pakistani spy was arrested from Arunachal Pradesh border who had allegedly passed sensitive information about Army deployment and location, weapons information and number of Artillery installations in Kibithu to his Dubai based handler.