21:43 GMT22 October 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Navy has recently arrested seven service personnel, three from its Eastern Naval Command in eastern Visakhapatnam, three from the Western Naval Command in western Mumbai, and one from Karwar Naval Base in the southern state of Karnataka.

    The Indian Navy believes seven arrested members of its personnerl were part of a suspected espionage racket that had links to neighbouring Pakistan, TV News website India Today reported.

    Following their arrest, the Indian Navy has banned the use of smartphones on all of its naval bases, warships, and dockyards and restricted its personnel from accessing social media platforms like Facebook.

    The arrests were made following a joint operation with the Intelligence Department of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, federal intelligence agencies, and Naval Intelligence.

    The accused were found to be operating the espionage racket with the assistance of a Hawala operator and had reportedly leaked information related to naval vessels and submarines, news channel News18 further quoted sources as saying.

    The restriction has been imposed to prevent naval personnel from being caught in social media-linked honey traps, which in this particular case can lead to the leaking of sensitive information on national security.

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    Tags:
    booby traps, personnel, Arrest, Social Media, Facebook, racketeering, cyber espionage, espionage case, Indian Navy, Andhra Pradesh, India
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