The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested the key conspirator of Indian navy espionage case. The arrested has been identified as Mohammed Haroon Haji Abdul Rehman Lakdawala, a Mumbai based businessman. He has been arrested for his alleged key role in the Navy Espionage Case, in connection to which 11 Indian Navy personnel were arrested last year.
In Feb, 2020, The Andhra Pradesh Police had arrested 13 people including 11 Navy personnel in the Indian Navy’s Honey Trap case for allegedly sending sensitive information related to the Navy to the spies of enemy country with the help of social media.
“The case relates to an international espionage racket involving individuals based in Pakistan and at different locations in India. Pakisatn based spies recruited agents in India for collecting sensitive and classified information regarding locations/movements of Indian Naval Ships and Submarines, and other defence establishments,” The NIA said in a statement.
NIA Further stated, “Investigation revealed that, Few Navy personnel came in contact with Pakistani nationals through social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp etc, and were involved in sharing classified information in lieu of monetary gains The money was deposited into the bank accounts of the Navy personnel through Indian associates having business interests in Pakistan.”
So far, 14 people have been arrested in the case, including 11 Navy personnel. A Pakistan-born Indian woman Shaista Qaisar has also been arrested by the NIA in the case.
“The investigation revealed that Haroon had visited Karachi, Pakistan on many occasions to meet his handlers under the guise of conducting cross-border trade. During these visits, he came in contact with two Pakistani spies namely Akbar alias Ali and Rizwan, who directed him to deposit money into the bank accounts of Navy personnel at regular intervals. This was done through different means,” the NIA said in a statement.
NIA Arrests Key Conspirator in Visakhapatnam Espionage Case pic.twitter.com/17916uvgh7— NIA India (@NIA_India) May 15, 2020
The Intelligence Department of Andhra Pradesh Police had launched ‘Operation Dolphin’s Nose’ across the country with the help of central intelligence agencies in this case.
After this case, The Indian Navy had also banned the use of smartphones and social media.