The Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Department claimed to have busted an espionage racket in the Indian Navy and arrested seven sailors after they allegedly passed on sensitive information like locations of naval ships and submarines to a Pakistani handler.
The police arrested three Indian Navy sailors from Visakhapatnam, two from Karwar naval base, and two from Mumbai naval base.
A source said that all these seven sailors were recruited in 2017 and they fell into a honey trap in September 2018.
“These young men were first contacted on Facebook by three or four women and lured them into an online relationship. The women later introduced them online to a man who posed as a businessman but was actually a Pakistani handler who started eliciting information from the sailors. The sailors whose chats with the women were sexual in nature were also blackmailed later to reveal the positions and movement of our warships and submarines. The sailors were also paid money every month through a hawala operator,” an official said.
“These seven sailors would return from ships and submarines and reveal the locations and work they did from about September-October last year. They passed on a lot of sensitive information,” a source said.
The operation, led by Andhra Intelligence with Navy and Central Intelligence agencies, was codenamed ‘Dolphin’s Nose’.
An FIR against the seven sailors has been registered at Counter-Intelligence Department at Vijayawada. Sources said that AP Intelligence was tracking the seven sailors for several days and their activities were under surveillance before they were arrested today. The Navy Intelligence Department also assisted the AP Intelligence to bust the racket.
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