Having ascertained, with Facebook’s help, that the IP addresses of the women who Group Captain Arun Marwah was communicating with were from Pakistan, the Delhi Police Special Cell has now sent a Letters Rogatory proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Police have sought more details of the women from the social networking site as well as WhatsApp.
Sources said the Letters Rogatory — a formal judicial request of probe through exchange of documents — will be sent to the US, where the two companies are headquartered, once the MHA clears the proposal.
Arrested in February, Marwah is accused of providing sensitive defence information to the two women who are suspected to be working for a foreign spy agency.
A senior police officer said that Facebook had provided them details of Marwah’s account as well as the accounts of the two women, Mahima Patel and Kiran Randhawa, through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the US.
“When Facebook provided the IP addresses, it came to light that Patel’s account was registered on November 24, 2017, and Randhawa’s on November 29. The IP addresses were found to be Pakistan-based,” the officer said.
Marwah, police said, allegedly shared classified information about three new tri-service agencies in the fields of cyber warfare, space and special operations with the two women in February, after they got in touch with him on Facebook.
He was kept under surveillance by the Air Force Intelligence Wing following orders of the Provost Marshal directorate, and they caught him with his phone when he entered the headquarters. He allegedly passed on information about three new formations — Defence Cyber Agency, Defence Space Agency and a Special Operations Division — as well as the IAF-Army joint Human Aid in Disaster Relief exercise to the women, police said.
According to the chargesheet, Marwah, who was working as Joint Director (operations) at the Indian Air Force Headquarters, told police that he received a Facebook friend request from Randhawa on December 20 last year, as well as a message on the website. Five days later, he received another friend request from Patel in a same manner.
“He started chatting and on January 8, they engaged in ‘sexual chat’. He later downloaded another app, where they started chatting. On January 18, they suggested that he help them activate WhatsApp on their devices. That’s when he purchased two SIM cards on January 22, and helped them activate WhatsApp on their devices after sharing the activation code with them. Randhawa later informed him that she was going to Dubai for a job with a security agency, and she would come to Delhi to board her flight. He told her that he wanted to give her a gift, but she refused to meet him, and told him she was leaving her phone with her brother,” police said in their chargesheet.