The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against two accused, one Indian and one Pakistani national, in connection with an espionage case relating to the Indian Navy.
This comes after a DRDO top scientist, Pradeep Kurulkar was also arrested for sharing confidential information of Indian missile program to Pakistani intelligence operatives, masquerading as an Indian national 'Zara Dasgupta'.
Kurulkar used to hold the position of director at DRDO's Systems Engineering Laboratory of the Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE(E)), Pune, where he is suspected of transferring confidential information to Pakistani intelligence operative 'Zara' through messages and videos.
The suspects, identified as Akash Solanki in this case, as well, got Honey trapped by Pakistani operative Meer Balaj Khan, using an alias 'Aditi Chauhan'.
Akash Solanki, a 21-year-old resident of Firozabad district in Uttar Pradesh, had been working as an Electrical Artificer Radio Apprentice (EAC) at the Naval Dockyard in Vishakhapatnam.
He stands accused of passing on classified information about Indian Navy warships and submarines to a suspected Pakistani intelligence operative using a female alias 'Aditi Chouhan' and other unidentified individuals.
The investigation revealed that Akash Solanki was receiving monetary compensation through crypto channels from the absconding Pakistani operative, Meer Balaj Khan, in exchange for sensitive information.
Further documents obtained during the investigation from a leading cryptocurreny exchange, Binance, suggests that a Pakistani ID card with the name Meer Balaj Khan was used for transferring the cryptocurrency transcations to Solanki.
The case was initially registered at PS Counter Intelligence Cell, Vijayawada, and later taken over by the NIA on 5 June.
After conducting extensive investigations, the NIA has charged both Akash Solanki and Meer Balaj Khan under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the NIA Special Court, Vijayawada.
As the investigation continues, authorities are on the lookout for Meer Balaj Khan, who remains at large.
The case highlights the importance of safeguarding sensitive national security information and the use of crypto channels in illegal activities.
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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