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Espionage racket busted

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 01:36 IST
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STF nabs one agent

THE SPECIAL Task Force (STF) sleuths busted yet another espionage racket patronized by the Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and arrested one agent from Rampur district on Thursday.

The agent identified as Mohammad Afroz of Katra Jalaluddin, FC Road, Rampur, was engaged in providing sensitive details about various institutes of the Indian Army and the Central Reserve Police Force to senior intelligence officials in Pakistan since 2001.

Posing as a carrier (delivering goods across the border), Afroz used to visit Pakistan frequently. The sleuths also seized some vital documents related to defence units from his possession.

Special Task Force ASP Rajesh Pandey was assigned the job to work out the espionage racket after the STF headquarters received a tip-off in this connection. Pandey and his team laid a trap and zeroed in on the mode of sensitive information being dispatched to Pakistan.

In the course of investigation, the STF team spotted a cyber café in the Ganj area of Rampur being used for the job. The cops laid a trap and caught Afroz while he was sending e-mails from the café.

Afroz, who was also quizzed by top intelligence agencies, confessed to have been receiving hefty payments from Pakistani officials through the Western Money Transfer for sending vital information about the Army and the CRPF for the past five years.

ASP Pandey while talking to the HT, revealed that Afroz (31), who used to supply garments and medicines at shops in Rampur, had first flown to Pakistan in 1999 on a visa to visit his distant relative Rashid Ahmed at Nashta Road, Lahore.
After returning from Pakistan, Afroz met Abdul Sattar in Delhi, who was running a business of delivering goods in Pakistan.

Afroz, too, got engaged in the business and during his frequent visits he met ISI officials at the Fatima Guest House in Lahore. Afroz was lured by the ISI for spying on Army establishments in India. He was provided training for the job in Pakistan. He was briefed about Army units from where Afroz had to retrieve information.

Afroz was asked to send details of Army institutes in Meerut, Bareilly, Ferozpur and Bikaner and the CRPF’s Anti-Terrorist cell at Ranchi in Jharkhand. Afroz was also provided training in using the computer at a cyber café in Mughulpura, Lahore.

Afroz also confessed to have dispatched vital information about defence units to Pakistan since then.