Crime branch officers investigating Mozawalla’s antecedents, have learnt that the Mazgaon-based Pakistani visa-facilitating agent had unsuccessfully tried to rope in an officer from the Indian Navy in Mumbai.
“He had specifically been asked by his handlers – two officers from the Pakistan High Commissioner’s office in New Delhi – for chance meetings with defence personnel. Friendship with such persons would help them gain access to restricted military campuses and installations,” joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy said on Monday.
Mozawalla had one such meeting with a navy officer while returning to Mumbai from New Delhi on the Rajdhani Express.
The two forged a rapport during the journey, Roy said. Once in Mumbai, Mozawalla tried to cement the friendship by making frequent calls to him, which he initially responded to. But, when the calls increased, coupled with Mozawalla’s repeated invitations to lunch/dinners, the navy officer stopped responding.
“Naturally, he (navy officer) could smell something amiss,” Roy said, adding that though Mozawalla had revealed the name of the official, the police had no plans to record his statement.
The police have learnt that the pictures of defence and other vital installations had been clicked by Mozawalla himself with little or no help from official/s working at those places. Photographs of naval assets on the Mumbai harbour, Air Force installation at Lonavala, Pune cantonment area, Bandra-Worli sea link, Koyna dam and so on were among the 25-odd places recced by Mozawalla.
Roy said Mozawalla had travelled to all these places by taxi or public transport and trespassed into the restricted areas to take photographs.
"Many of these installations are so spread out that it is not difficult to trespass into some portions without getting noticed, despite security,” Roy added.
Roy said though the police had so far established that Mozawalla was supplying information to the Pakistan High Commissioner’s office and the recipients have been identified along with the type of information, the police were still to establish whether he had been helped by anyone in his job.