In a joint operation with the Naval Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agencies, the Andhra Pradesh police have arrested seven navy personnel who have been allegedly involved in espionage. The case is under investigation by the police authorities of Andhra Pradesh.
The seven arrested are non -officer rank personnel, posted at three different naval bases including Mumbai, Karwar (Karnataka) and Visakhapatnam. After being honey-trapped these men have reportedly through social media platform leaked sensitive information related to the Indian navy. A hawala operator too has been arrested in this connection. This brings the total number arrested to seven plus one.
According to sources, these sailors were picked up in a joint operation code-named `Dolphin’s Nose’ which was launched by the Naval intelligence wing, Andhra Pradesh police and central intelligence agencies.
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The Andhra Pradesh police in an official release has said that “FIR has been lodged. Seven Navy personnel and a hawala operator have been arrested from different parts of the country. Some more suspects are being questioned.”
These men have allegedly been giving out “unauthorised information’’ besides Facebook and other social media platforms.
The men have been arrested from the three bases which are very critical for the Naval Operations. While Mumbai is home to the Western Naval command Headquarters, there is a helicopter base were VIPs land and is the base where the country’s nuclear powered Arihant submarine is located. The Eastern Naval Command headquarters is based in Visakhapatnam and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is based in Karwar.
Sources based in New Delhi have said that given the sensitive nature of these three critical bases of the Indian Navy, the Naval Intelligence has a major role to play and has been jointly carrying out investigations with other agencies to identify what kind of information has been leaked out.
In an advisory issued in mid-October to its personnel, the Army asked them to avoid interacting with unknown social media profiles. In an advisory to its soldiers and officers, it has asked them to be wary of 150 fake social media profiles which include phoney spiritual gurus and babas. These are often used by Pakistan’s Intelligence officers on a regular basis to honey trap officials and extracting sensitive military information.
Through these fake profiles, they try to trap gullible and vulnerable soldiers who are facing personal problems and are gradually trapped by the so-called gurus to get out sensitive information regarding bases or operations etc explained sources.
Incidentally, Pakistan has been found using fake sites to even target railway personnel especially posted on sensitive railway stations in an effort to gain intelligence about train movement carrying troops and weapons for exercises and deployment said sources.
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Source: Financial Express