'French spies penetrated PMO in 80s '
RAW claims PMO's have been penetrated by the French intelligence while the CIA had a mole in an office of India's spy agency during the early 1980s.delhi Updated: Jul 25, 2007 14:28 IST
A former top official of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has claimed the Prime Minister's Office was penetrated by the French intelligence while the CIA had a mole in an office of India's spy agency during the early 1980s.
"The French intelligence penetrated the PMO and shared with its West European and American counterparts the intelligence and documents collected by it.
"The greatest damage was caused by the French intelligence agency's penetration of the PMO. It had access to a large number of top secret reports sent by the RAW and the Intelligence Bureau to the Prime Minister on their sensitive operations," former Additional Secretary in Cabinet Secretariat B Raman writes in his forthcoming book --"The Kaoboys of RAW - Down Memory Lane".
He says the CIA, knowing the "well-known distrust" of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the US activities, often operated through the spy agencies of West European nations "till the detection of the penetration of the PMO by the French intelligence".
"Much later in 1987, the IB detected a CIA penetration of the RAW's office in Chennai to collect intelligence and documents about the RAW's activities in Sri Lanka," he says.
Observing that "continuing weaknesses" in India's counter-intelligence capability in this period was a major cause of concern, Raman gave several examples, including one in which an Australian woman, working on a UN-sponsored project, was living with a police officer deputed to RAW in Delhi "without the Counter-Intelligence and Security Division of the organisation being aware of it for some time".