The NIA filed a charge sheet against two persons on July 19 this year, including absconding Pakistani national, Meer Balaj Khan. (Representational Image)
Visakhapatnam: The National Investigation Agency on Monday arrested one more accused in the Visakhapatnam espionage case. The case involved leakage of classified defense information through a Pakistani ISI spying network.
A release said Amaan Salim Shaikh was arrested from Mumbai following raids conducted by the NIA at two locations in Mumbai and another at Hojai, Nagaon district, Assam.
With this, the number of accused arrested in the case so far stood at three. Four persons, including two absconding Pakistani operatives, have already been charge-sheeted by the NIA.
Amaan was involved in the activation of the SIM cards that were being used by the Pakistani intelligence officers involved in the racket.
The racket came to light in 2021, when the counter intelligence cell, Andhra Pradesh, registered the case on January 12 that year under sections 120 B & 121A of the IPC and sections 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and section 3 of Official Secrets Act, 1923. The NIA took over the case in June 2023.
NIA teams also seized two mobile phones from where Amaan was arrested. Two more mobile phones and a host of sensitive documents were seized from other locations.
The NIA filed a charge sheet against two persons on July 19 this year, including absconding Pakistani national, Meer Balaj Khan. Investigations revealed that MB Khan, along with an arrested accused, Akash Solanki, were part of an espionage module. They were procuring and leaking sensitive vital information pertaining to the Indian Navy to their Pakistan-based handlers.
The agency also filed a supplementary chargesheet against two other accused persons, Manmohan Surendra Panda and Alven. While Panda is under arrest, Alven, a Pakistani intelligence operative, is absconding. He is based in Pakistan.