The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday (15 May) arrested the key conspirator, Mohammed Haroon Haji Abdul Rehman Lakdawala, from Mumbai in connection with the Vishakhapatnam espionage, the anti-terror probe agency said in a statement.
The NIA has so far arrested 14 accused, including 11 Indian Navy personnel and a Pakistan born Indian national identified as Shaista Qaiser, in connection with the case.
The espionage case pertains to Pakistan based spies recruiting agents in India to garner classified and sensitive information about locations and movements of the Indian naval ships, submarines, and other defence establishments.
The investigation in the case revealed that few Navy personnel came in contact with Pakistani nationals through social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp and were involved in sharing classified information in lieu of monetary gains, the agency said.
The key conspirator in the highly sensitive case has been identified to be a Mumbai based 49-year-old man named Mohammed Haroon Haji Abdul Rehman Lakdawala. The searches at his residence by the agency led to the confiscation of a number of digital devices and incriminating documents.
The NIA has also revealed that he had visited Pakistan's port city of Karachi on several occasions to meet with his handlers under the guise of conducting cross-border trade. It was during these visits that Lakdawala got involved with two Pakistani spies named Akbar Ali and Rizwan who had instructed him to deposit money into the bank accounts of the navy personnel involved in the espionage racket at regular intervals.
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