Police in the western Indian state of Rajasthan have arrested Vikas Kumar, 29, a civil defence employee at an army ammunition depot near Shri Ganganagar, and Chiman Lal, 22, a civil contractual employee of the army's Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Bikaner, on charges of espionage.
Based on intelligence inputs, Rajasthan Police have arrested two men on espionage charges. The two were providing sensitive military information from strategically important installations to Pakistani intelligence in exchange for money. pic.twitter.com/PQrHPFO6XH— Aakriti Sharma (@_aakritisharma) June 8, 2020
The two were allegedly providing sensitive information to Pakistani intelligence as the said ammunition depot and the army's Mahajan Field Firing Range are strategically important military installations in the western front of country.
India’s Lucknow-based Military Intelligence (MI) found out about a suspected agent near Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, who was passing military information to his handlers in Pakistan.
As per the intelligence unit, Kumar was allegedly lured by Pakistani Intelligence Operative (PIO) using a Facebook profile in the name of Anoshka Chopra, being run from Multan, Pakistan, by a young Pakistani woman.
“The MI unit could ascertain that Vikas Kumar was passing military information related to ORBAT (Order of Battle; composition and order of a military fighting formation), ammunition (photos, state, quantity, type, arrival, departure), units coming for firing practice/ military exercise to MFFR, personality traits of senior army officers in lieu of money”, a statement from the officials said.
Kumar confessed that he joined several WhatsApp groups as asked by Anoshka, who introduced him to Amit Kumar Singh (pseudonym used by the handler). Amit convinced Kumar to send him military information in exchange for money.
Most of the information shared by Vikas Kumar with his handler was acquired by himself and some through Chiman Lal. Vikas confessed to receiving at least $1,000, of which he paid approximately $120 to Chiman Lal for his assistance.
The arrest comes a few days after Delhi Police detained two officials of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi over espionage charges.
The Indian Army issued an advisory asking its personnel to be cautious and avoid strangers posing as foreign women or spiritual gurus on social media to check the rise in honey-trap incidents in the armed forces.