HUBBALLI: Two sailors from INS Kadamba Naval Base, Karwar have been arrested by Andhra Pradesh police on Thursday late evening for allegedly passing “sensitive information” about the navy to Pakistan.
Andhra Pradesh intelligence wing, along with Central Intelligence and Naval Intelligence launched Operation Dolphin’s Nose and busted the espionage racket and arrested eight persons – including seven naval personnel from different naval bases across the country.
The police arrested three from Visakhapatnam, two from Mumbai and two from Karwar naval base. Apart from the naval staff, a civilian, who was into a hawala business and used to transfer money to these naval staffs, is also arrested. According to sources, these sailors commissioned into the navy in 2017 and allegedly involved in espionage in September and October months of 2018. After completing their naval base duty, they used to share information about ship movement, location, signals and other secret details. They were also sharing details about numbers of warships, submarines, and their locations.
In Karwar, the names of the arrested persons are not yet revealed, one sailer hails from Rajasthan and another from Odisha and they are working in Karwar base since 2017. The police also seized gadgets belonging to the sailers, including their mobile phones.The sailors are unmarried and were active on social media platforms. After duty hours, they were used to contact Pakistani girls on social media, the sources said.
The sailors used to ‘chat’ with the girls and within a few months, they were trapped. The girls introduced a man from Pakistani intelligence to the trapped Indian sailors, later they were sharing sensitive information on the fleet. One person from Mumbai, who is into hawala, used to transfer money to the sailors every month after sharing information. The agencies involved in Operation Dolphin’s Nose were collecting information on money transactions, social media data and other details. On Thursday evening, the police team visited all the three naval bases, arrested the sailors and took them to Visakhapatnam.
The police registered FIR against the accused at CID police station. The police and intelligence force suspected that a few more Navy personnel at other bases might be involved in sharing naval details with enemy countries. Investigation is on and various wings are fetching details on espionage.
Many naval staffers in Karwar and other bases are active on social media and also they disclose their identity on the platforms. The staff also post photos posing inside the warships and submarines. These details have been helping enemy country’s spies. After developing a good bond, the girls introduce spies who collect information from them.