2 held in Port Blair for leaking defence secrets to Dubai woman

Two contractual employees of the highly protected naval ship repair yard in Port Blair were arrested for allegedly passing sensitive information about the Andaman and Nicobar Command to a Dubai-based woman, officials said.

The accused have been identified as Abhishek Kumar, a resident of Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh, and his friend Santu Biswas of West Bengal’s Nadia district.

Both have been remanded to police custody till October 14.

Speaking to PTI, Devesh Chandra Srivastava, director general of police, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said, “A joint interrogation is going on and considering the serious nature of crime committed by the accused, I will not be able to comment anything further in this matter at this stage.”

The police said it all started on May 18 when the woman, who identified herself as Kirti Verma (name changed on request), sent a friend request to Abhishek.

She claimed that she is working for a marine company in Dubai and needed information about ship movements from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and photographs of the vital installations of ANC, the police added.

Investigation revealed that with every request, she used to send heart emojis and sometimes even called him meri jaan (my life), ‘I love you’ to ensure that he could not refuse.

The police said when the directorate of naval intelligence got a tip-off about Abhishek’s suspicious activities, they started to keep eyes on him.

However, before they could gather foolproof evidence against him, Abhishek’s six months contract at NSRY got over on September 20 and he went to his home town in Uttar Pradesh and engaged Santu Biswas to help Kirti.

Based on evidence from Abhishek’s social media posts, the naval intelligence contacted him saying they wanted to renew his contract to lure him to Port Blair, officials added.

A day after he landed in Port Blair on October 3, he was caught by the naval intelligence for sharing sensitive information and photographs related to maritime security. Biswas was arrested two days later on October 6, the police said.

He was handed over to the Central Crime Station of the CID in Port Blair and booked under Official Secrets Act.

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