2021 Visakhapatnam Pakistan ISI Espionage Case: NIA Conducts Searches At 3 Locations In Gujarat & Maharashtra

2021 Visakhapatnam Pakistan ISI Espionage Case: NIA Conducts Searches At 3 Locations In Gujarat & Maharashtra

According to the NIA, they are currently examining these seized materials to uncover further linkages in the case, the case was originally filed by the Counter Intelligence Cell, Andhra Pradesh, on January 12, 2021, under various sections of the IPC, UA(P) Act, and Official Secrets Act, 1923.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Friday, June 28, 2024, 11:11 PM IST
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2021 Visakhapatnam Pakistan ISI Espionage Case: NIA Conducts Searches At 3 Locations In Gujarat & Maharashtra | File Image

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted extensive searches on Friday at three locations in Gujarat and Maharashtra in connection with the 2021 Visakhapatnam Pakistani ISI espionage case involving the leakage of classified defence information. The searches conducted at the residential premises of suspects believed to have received funds from Pakistan for spying on Indian defence establishments.

During the operations, NIA seized several incriminating materials, including mobile phones and documents. According to the NIA, they are currently examining these seized materials to uncover further linkages in the case, the case was originally filed by the Counter Intelligence Cell, Andhra Pradesh, on January 12, 2021, under various sections of the IPC, UA(P) Act, and Official Secrets Act, 1923.

NIA investigations have revealed that Pakistani nationals had collaborated with the arrested accused in the espionage racket, in which sensitive/vital information pertaining to the Indian Navy was being leaked as part of a conspiracy to unleash terrorist violence in India.

In this case, the NIA apprehended Amaan Salim Shaikh from Kurla, Mumbai, in November 2023. He worked as a delivery boy for various food delivery companies and is suspected to have visited Pakistan a few years ago, where his relatives reside, and is believed to be linked with Pakistan-based operatives(PIO). Amaan is alleged to have received funds for arranging logistical support. NIA teams seized his two mobile phones during the arrest. The investigation revealed that Amaan was found involved in the activation of the SIM cards that were being used by the Pakistani Intelligence Officers.

On July 19, 2023, the NIA filed a chargesheet against two accused, including an absconding Pakistani national, Meer Balaj Khan. Investigations revealed that Meer Balaj Khan, along with the arrested accused Akash Solanki, was part of an espionage module involved in procuring and leaking sensitive information about Indian Navy warships and submarines to handlers based in Pakistan. Akash Solanki, employed as an Electrical Artificer Radio Apprentice (EAC) at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam, was passing on classified information.

In November 2023, the NIA filed a supplementary chargesheet against two other accused persons, Manmohan Surendra Panda and Alven. Panda, a resident of Mumbai, is currently under arrest in the Visakhapatnam Pakistani ISI espionage case, while Alven, a Pakistani intelligence operative, remains absconding.

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