The case is under investigation by the police auth (Photo Credit: Representative image)
At least 11 Indian Navy personnel and two civilians have been arrested in connection with an alleged spying case where Pakistani intelligence operatives virtually honey-trapped them on social media, according to media reports. “The 11 Navy personnel and the two civilians have been apprehended in connection with the espionage case so far while a large number of social media profiles of service personnel are under the scanner for being in touch with the suspicious profiles,” news agency ANI quoted Navy sources as saying.
The personnel arrested are from the different naval bases including Mumbai, Karwar (Karnataka) and Visakhapatnam. The case had begun after a joint operation involving the Andhra Pradesh Police, Naval Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agencies arrested seven Navy personnel for allegedly involved in spying. The case is under investigation by the police authorities of Andhra Pradesh.
These men had leaked sensitive information related to the Indian Navy through their social media profiles after being honey-trapped. The news agency added that the Indian Navy imposed a strict ban on the use of smartphones and social media applications such as Facebook by its personnel after the misuse of social media by the naval personnel came to light.
However, a similar ban has not been enforced by the Indian Army and India Air Force (IAF) even though they have also faced similar cases in the past few months. Sources in the Navy said the sudden ban on using smartphones has created issues for the personnel in establishing contact with families and undertaking other digital work for personnel use.
The India Navy has allowed the use of older mobile phones using 2G connectivity which experts feel, is of limited use and can possibly be intercepted.
In December last year, India Today, which quoted Home Ministry sources, reported that Pakistan Intelligence Agency ISI was planning to honey-trap Indian Army jawans.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe cases related to honey-trap. Home Ministry sources were quoted as saying: “Pakistan intelligence agency ISI has prepared a big plan to trap the security forces personnel through honey trapping on social media.”