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Arrested pak agent tapping naval officers

Arrested pak agent tapping naval officers

Author: Deeptiman Tiwary
Publication: Mumbai Mirror
Date: October 16, 2007
URL: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article&sectid=15&contentid=2007101620071016025654781e03258ef

ISI agent held from Mankhurd collected data on disgruntled Naval officers so that they could be recruited as ISI operatives, says ATS

Is Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence trying to recruit disgruntled officers of India's armed forces?

That is what documents recovered from Qamar Mohammad Shafi Afghani, the ISI agent arrested from Mankhurd on October 11 have revealed, according to the Anti-Terrorist Squad.

ATS officials said 29-year-old Afghani, a Govandi resident and an embroidery worker by profession, was at the time of his arrest found in possession of sensitive and confidential Navy documents that contained details of the Navy's structural set-up and service records of the promotion of officers. Another document that listed contact details of Navy officials was also recovered, the officials said.

The data was to be used to identify disgruntled Navy officers who could be enlisted and used as ISI operatives, ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi told Mumbai Mirror.

"They want to identify elements in the armed forces who'd be susceptible to the idea of working for the ISI. The documents would help them zero in on dissatisfied officials, and the contact details would enable them to get in touch with the officers," Raghuvanshi said.

Some documents had already been sent by Afghani to Pakistan, the ATS chief said. "The lot we have caught is the second one," he noted.

Afghani's role, though, was restricted to gathering information and sending it across the border. He was not asked to get in touch with any Navy official though his 'brief' included enrollment of "youth," officials said.

Police have also seized CDs containing pictures of vital naval installations, five credit cards and books on Egyptian war from Afghani.

Afghani, whom the police describe as "a matriculate who speaks good English and is computer-savvy," funded his operations with the help of these credit cards, three of which were issued by Standard Chartered, one by Bangkok Bank and one by Al-falah Bank in Pakistan.

While the Standard Chartered cards are drawn in the name of Afghani, who also has an account in the bank"s Chembur branch, the Pakistani card is in the name of one Mohd Ghulam. The Bangkok Bank card has no name on it at all.

Afghani has spent nearly Rs 2 lakh from the cards on his operations here, according to ATS. "He has been active in the city for the last five-six months," Raghuvanshi said.

Another officer who did not wish to be named said: "Money for such operations is generally routed through hawala, but for the first time we are seeing use of credit cards. We will now gather more information from the banks."

According to police, Afghani has been to Pakistan twice, once in 2006 and the second time in 2007, and received one month"s training in intelligence gathering and preliminary weapons use.

He had also visited Kashmir two-three times earlier, and it was during one of these visits that he met a man named Syed who took him to Pakistan, the ATS said.

"Afghani had gone to Kashmir with a desire to join the "jehad" in Palestine. During these visits, he came in contact with an ISI operative who took him to Pakistan and initiated him in intelligence gathering against India," Raghuvanshi said.

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