ATS breaks espionage racket in Madhya Pradesh, complicity of telcos’ staff revealed; multiple arrests made in crackdown

By: | Published: February 9, 2017 5:40 PM

The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Thursday busted an espionage racket in Madhya Pradesh and arrested over 11 people involved in the racket.

Madhya Pradesh ATS chief Sanjeev Shami. (ANI)Madhya Pradesh ATS chief Sanjeev Shami. (ANI)

The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Thursday busted an espionage racket in Madhya Pradesh and arrested over 11 people involved in the racket. Madhya Pradesh ATS chief Sanjeev Shami said that last year in November, two men were arrested in Jammu for collecting and using information of strategic interests for espionage and they were being funded by a person in Satna. Giving details of the case, the ATS chief said, ”They converted internet calls to a cellular network and acted as a medium for overseas handlers to contact people in India.” He added: ”The complicity of some employees of telecom companies has also surfaced.” Persons who were arrested hailed from different parts of the state, that included 5 from Gwalior, 3 from Bhopal, 2 from Jabalpur, 1 from Satna.

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According to a report by India TV, the spy network first came to notice when the information from intelligence officers based in Agra, Uttar Pradesh provided information to the intelligence agencies. The suspects were allegedly running a parallel telecom exchange that enabled them to call up Army camps and other personnel posted in Jammu and Kashmir while posing as senior Army officers. Several Chinese equipments, SIM-boxes, prepaid SIM cards of different telecom companies, mobile phones and laptops have been recovered from the suspects. The accused have been booked for treason and violation of the Indian Telegraph Act.

Officers also suspect that the network might actually be far bigger than it seems, with possible handlers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and even Bangladesh. And it is believed that this crackdown confirms Pakistani spy agency ISI’s spreading footprints in India.

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