Hyderabad:  The sleuths of  National Investigation Agency have arrested the key conspirators in the Vishakapatnam espionage case.

The NIA officials took into custody, Mohammed Haroon Haji Abdul Rehman Lakdawala (49 years) in Mumbai.  The case relates to an international espionage racket involving individuals based in Pakistan and at different locations in India. Pakistan based spies,  recruited agents in India for collecting sensitive and classified information regarding locations and movements of Indian Naval Ships and Submarines, and other defence establishments.

The course of investigation revealed that, a  few navy personnel came in contact with Pakistani nationals through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp. 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.

The travel history of accused Mohammed Haroon Lakdawala, revealed that he  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.  The same was done through different means.

NIA sleuths found a number of digital devices and incriminating documents at the house of Haroon during searches held on May 15th .

In the case so far, fourteen accused have been arrested including 11 Navy personnel and one Pakistani born Indian national Ms. Shaista Qaiser. The case RC-05/2019/NIA/ hyd, was  originally registered in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh u/s 120B & 121A of  IPC, Sec. 17 & 18 of UA (P) Act and Sec. 3 of  Official Secrets Act.

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