Visakhapatnam Espionage Case: NIA arrests Mumbai man suspected of paying off navy personnel

The National Investigation Agency on Friday arrested the key conspirator in the Visakhapatnam Espionage Case. The accused—identified as 49 year old Mohammed Haroon Haji Abdul Rehman Lakdawala—is a Mumbai resident and is suspected to have been in touch with Pakistani spies and paying off navy personnel in the case.

The NIA has recovered digital evidence and seized many electronic devices from his place of arrest.

Also Read: Are all Indian Navy personnel arrested in espionage case RSS members? Here’s the truth

This was a complex international espionage case in which Pakistan based spies honey trapped defence personnel to spy and send information on various naval establishments, Indian submarines and their positions and other sensitive information.

These defence personnel were honey trapped initially and made to partake with sensitive information. In return, they received sums of money at regular intervals in their bank accounts. They are believed to have communicated through various social media applications.

According to NIA, it was here that Mohammed Lakdawala came into play. Under the guise of trading with Pakistan, he is said to have visited the port city of Karachi where he came in contact with two spies, Akbar and Rizwan who ordered him to transfer money to these naval personnel.

The controversy erupted in December 2019 when the Andhra Pradesh police launched Operation Dolphin and arrested as many as 14 individuals including 11 naval personnel from Visakhapatnam, Karwar, Kochi and Mumbai. A Pakistan born Indian national Shaista Qaiser too has been arrested earlier.

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