Visakhapatnam espionage case: NIA arrests terror funding conspirator

Indian intelligence agencies had busted the espionage racket in December 2019

indian-navy-representational Representational image

The NIA on Saturday arrested a terror funding conspirator in the infamous Visakhapatnam espionage case wherein 11 Naval personnel allegedly leaked sensitive information to Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

Abdul Rehman Abdul Jabbar Sheikh, 53, a resident of Mumbai, was involved in the terror funding along with his arrested wife Shaista Qaiser and others, an official spokesman said.

During the search of his house, a number of digital devices and incriminating documents were seized by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which took over the case in December last year, he said.

The Indian intelligence agencies had busted the espionage racket linked to Pakistan in December last year.

The NIA arrested Mohammed Haroon Haji Abdul Rehman Lakdawala, a resident of Mumbai, last month. A probe found that he was one of the "key conspirators" in the case.

With the arrest of Sheikh, a total of 15 accused have so far been arrested, including the 11 Navy personnel, Pakistan-born Indian national Qaiser and her associates.

Pakistan-based spies recruit agents in India for collecting sensitive and classified information regarding locations and movements of Indian naval ships and submarines, and other defence establishments.

"Investigation revealed that a few Navy personnel came in contact with Pakistani nationals through various social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp, and were involved in sharing classified information in lieu of monetary gains. The money was deposited into the bank accounts of the Navy personnel through Indian associates having business interests in Pakistan," the NIA said last month.