National Investigation Agency, which cracked open the espionage case in Visakhapatnam by arresting seven sailors, will be visiting Eastern Naval Command headquarters shortly. An officer of DSP rank will head the team, which will probe into the extent of damage the sailors caused by passing on information to Pakistan Intelligence Officers.
The Andhra Pradesh police in coordination with central intelligence agencies and the Indian naval intelligence busted an espionage racket having links with Pakistan. The state counter-intelligence team arrested eight people including seven navy personnel and a hawala operator.Three of them are based in the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, two from Colaba in Mumbai and the remaining two from Karwar naval base
Notably, police had taken these seven sailors — three from Visakhapatnam, two each from Mumbai and Karwar of Western Command — and a hawala operator into custody on December 20. They finished their successful mission under the code name Operation Dolphin Nose, which also included Naval Intelligence and Central Intelligence. Presently, the seven suspects are under NIA remand until January 3 at Rajahmundry jail.
Though the naval officials maintained that their critical assets were intact and that there was no breach, the location of these sailors assumes importance. Karwar has the Navy’s lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, and Visakhapatnam is the headquarters for Eastern Naval Command and the submarine wing. The only nuclear-powered submarines INS Arihant and INS Chakra are also located in Visakhapatnam.