DRDO espionage: Odisha Crime Branch finds Pakistan link 

The Crime Branch is zeroing on the woman operative who had allegedly honey-trapped five employees to elicit defence secrets. 

Published: 07th October 2021 08:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2021 08:33 AM   |  A+A-

DRDO'S hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. (Representational photo | PTI)

DRDO'S hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. (Representational photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: In a major breakthrough, the Crime Branch of police on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, claimed to have found the Pakistan link to the DRDO espionage incident that led to the arrest of the employees of Chandipur-based Integrated Test Range (ITR). 

The Crime Branch is zeroing on the woman operative who had allegedly honey-trapped five employees to elicit defence secrets. It has been found that some of the Facebook accounts of the woman conduit were being operated from the neighbouring country. Of her seven Facebook accounts traced by the probing agency, four were being handled from Pakistan. The other three accounts, still active, are being used from different locations with proxy internet protocol (IP) addresses.  

Crime Branch ADG Sanjeeb Panda said the woman had been operating three accounts from Islamabad and one account from Rawalpindi. Even as the accounts were being used from Pakistan, she had used proxy IPs of India, US, UK and Germany to hide her identity, he said.    

What has baffled the investigating agency is that the woman handler is still chatting with some people through her active Facebook accounts. Efforts are on to trace the persons with whom the woman is in contact. It may help locate her, he informed.

The Crime Branch has also sought details about the social media accounts from the respective service providers and moved the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) for information on internet domains used by the Pakistani agent.

The probe agency will approach Interpol seeking its help to find out the location of the woman after getting technical details from the CERT-In and social media service providers. “Though the accused persons have deleted some of the chats they had with the woman, the retrieved chatting history revealed that they had shared some classified defence information with the woman. We will seek their remand once again, if required,” Panda added.

The woman was using a UK phone number, possibly operated through a virtual SIM (e-SIM) and had taken control over a mobile phone of one of the accused through which she was keeping a tab on the activities inside the test range.

She had honey-trapped them after promising to marry two of the accused and assured another to visit his Chandipur residence. The arrested contractual employees included two AC operators, one diesel generator operator and one gatekeeper besides the permanent staff, a driver of ITR Director.  


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