Just days after an Indian Air Force officer was arrested on espionage charges in Delhi, the military intelligence has detained an officer of the Indian Army in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, on suspicions of falling prey to a honey-trap.
The lieutenant colonel posted at 506 Army base workshop at Jabalpur is suspected to have leaked sensitive documents and an investigation into the issue has been launched. He was also questioned for 12 hours. The Military Intelligence was alerted by the Intelligence Bureau after the personnel is said to have made a large transaction from his account. It is suspected that he sent important information outside the country, in exchange for money.
The lieutenant colonel, who hasn't been identified yet, has neither been arrested nor charged with any misconduct until now, but the officials are reportedly carrying out searches at his office and residence.
Colonel BP Singh, the army spokesperson in Jabalpur, confirmed that the official was being questioned, but did not speak about the exact reason behind the investigation.
"Nothing is clear as of now. Investigation is still going on. We will be in a position to share more details by tomorrow as to why he is being questioned," Hindustan Times quoted Singh as saying.
Reports of detention of officer, ‘Honey Trapping’, money exchange at this stage are pure speculation and neither accurate nor substantiated. Details on the outcome of the enquiry will be intimated in due course as per progress: Senior Army Official.— ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2018
The officer has only been questioned as part of ongoing enquiry & nothing else. Therefore he continues to perform his routine duties in unit. Evidence related to case including digital evidence has been seized & sent for further forensic analysis.: Senior Army Official.— ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2018
A prelim enquiry was ordered on Feb 12 by Army to ascertain facts on suspected leakage of classified info from IT devices of a Lt Colonel posted in Jabalpur. It is yet to be established whether it has happened inadvertently or deliberately as reported: Senior Army Official.— ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2018
Meanwhile, on February 8, the Delhi Police arrested Group Captain Arun Marwaha for leaking secret details and documents of the Indian Air Force to Pakistani spy agency ISI.
The 51-year-old personnel is said to have given out several classified details to the ISI using his smartphone in lieu of sex chats with two social media accounts of a Kiran Randhwa and Mahima Patel. Marwaha reportedly clicked pictures of these documents that detailed the combat exercises at the IAF headquarters and sent them across to the ISI over WhatsApp.
The Indian Air Force officials first got suspicious of his activities when he was spotted with a smartphone at the IAF headquarters, despite a ban on phones. The growing suspicion then led the officials to monitor his internet activities, after which he was detained by the IAF for interrogation.
While the Delhi Police has now taken him into custody, the IAF officials are also probing if Marwaha could be a part of a larger espionage ring. Until now, there has been no trace of any monetary exchange between Marwaha and the ISI.
The police are now also trying to identify the Pakistani handlers and will also investigate if Marwaha had other accomplices. His phone too has been seized and will be examined by the forensic team.