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Vizag espionage case: NIA arrests key accused

Vizag espionage case: NIA arrests key accused

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday announced arrest of a key accused in the infamous Visakhapatnam espionage case of December 2019, in which Pakistan-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 intelligence department launched an operation named “Operation Dolphin’s Nose” to bust the espionage racket with links to Pakistan.

According to an official statement, the NIA arrested Giteli Imran (37) from Godhra in Gujrarat which turned out to be a key accused in Visakhapatnam espionage case on Monday. 

A case was booked under sections 120-B and 121-A of Indian Penal Code, Sections 17 and 18 of UA (P) Act and Section 3 of Official Secrets Act for his involvement in espionage activities and working for Pakistan ISI. A charge-sheet has been filed in the instant case on Tuesday against 14 accused persons. 

Investigation revealed that few navy personnel came in contact with Pakistani agents through social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp etc.

They shared classified information in lieu of money deposited into their bank accounts through Indian associates of Pak ISI who had business interests in Pakistan, the NIA said.

The NIA said during the investigation, it was revealed that Imran was associated with Pakistani spies/agents under the guise of cross-border cloth trade.

As per the directions of Pakistan-based spies, he deposited money into the bank accounts of Indian Navy personnel at regular intervals in lieu of sensitive and classified data provided by them.

Some digital devices and incriminating documents have been seized in the search conducted at the house of Imran, the NIA said, adding that further investigation in the case was being continued.

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