VIJAYAWADA: Five persons, including a woman, were reportedly detained by Andhra Pradesh Counter Intelligence (CI) sleuths in connection with the ‘Operation Dolphin Nose’ espionage case, in Godhra of Panchmahal district of Gujarat on Monday night. The CI cell sleuths of the AP police conducted a joint operation with the Gujarat police and nabbed the five persons, highly placed sources said.
Based on reliable information that a few locals of Godhra were connected to the Indian Navy espionage case and had contacts with ISI agents, the Counter Intelligence teams from Andhra Pradesh reportedly went to Gujarat on Monday and raided several places in Godhra West area and other places in Panchmahal district with the help of the local police. The detained persons are currently being questioned in an undisclosed location in Godhra by AP police.
There is no official confirmation from the State police over the same.The case goes back to December 20, 2019 when the AP intelligence launched Operation Dolphin’s Nose in association with the Central Intelligence and Indian Naval intelligence, and busted an espionage racket with links to Pakistan ISI agents and handlers.
As many as seven naval officers — three from Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, two from Mumbai Naval base and two more from Karwar (Karnataka) Naval base — were arrested for leaking sensitive information such as location of naval ships and submarines to ISI agents whom they met on Facebook.
Using fake profiles on Facebook, three or four ISI agents honey-trapped them for sensitive information. The investigation agency arrested one hawala operator from Mumbai and produced him in the Vijayawada NIA special court.
The sailors received money from the agents through a Hawala operator based in Mumbai. When the Naval Intelligence found their behaviour suspicious, they alerted State and Central intelligence agencies. After confirming that they were sharing sensitive information, intelligence officials arrested them and a case was registered under relevant sections of Official Secrets Act -1923. During the investigation, four more sailors were arrested taking the total count of the apprehended sailors to 11.
Later, the National Investigation Agency took over the case and arrested a 37-year-old merchant, Imran Giteli, from Godhra for his alleged links with Pakistan ISI agents and depositing money into the accounts of the accused Indian Navy sailors on September 15, 2020.
Operation Dolphin Nose launched in 2019
In December 2019, AP Intelligence officials launched Operation Dolphin Nose in association with Central Intelligence and Indian Naval intelligence, and busted an espionage racket with links to ISI agents and handlers. As many as seven naval officers were arrested for leaking sensitive information to ISI agents