Two suspected agents of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI were arrested from the city in a joint operation by anti-terrorism squads of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, an official said today. While one of them identified as Altaf Qureshi was arrested late last night from Masjid Bunder area in South Mumbai, the second operative identified as Javed Iqbal was taken into custody from Yusuf Manzil building at Agreepada this morning, the official said.
Qureshi (37) is a hawala operator and also allegedly worked for ISI. Iqbal is an aide of Qureshi, the official said. Qureshi had allegedly deposited money in the bank account of Aftab Ali, another ISI agent, in Lucknow for carrying out espionage activities, he said.
Aftab was arrested from Faizabad in UP yesterday. ATS officials seized a cellphone and Rs 71.57 lakh in cash from the house of Qureshi, who was in hawala business at the behest of one Jawed Naviwala, the official said.
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During the duo’s interrogation, it was found that Javed used to get instructions from Pakistan and at his behest Qureshi often deposited money in Aftab’s bank account, he said. Javed was in constant touch with ISI officials in the neighbouring country, he said.
During their interrogation, names of some more persons cropped up, the official said, adding more arrests are likely.
Aftab, booked under the Official Secrets Act, had allegedly passed on information about Indian Army’s movements to officers posted at Pakistan High Commission and also to ISI, the official claimed.
He had allegedly provided information about the army’s movements and units in Faizabad, Lucknow and Amritsar, he said.
Qureshi and Javed will be produced in a Mumbai court for transit remand and taken to Uttar Pradesh for further interrogation, the official said.