New Delhi | A Delhi-based man who allegedly sold pre-activated SIM cards, some of which were used by an espionage ring suspected to be backed by Pakistan’s ISI, has been arrested, police said today.
The man has been identified as Ankush Khandelwal, a resident of Sector 5 in outer Delhi’s Rohini. His name emerged during the interrogation of the five accused arrested in connection with the espionage racket cracked by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch in October, said a senior police officer.
The police have recovered as many as 205 pre-active SIM cards and 28 forged documents, including voter ID cards, from Khandelwal’s possession, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said. Khandelwal is a native of Alwar in Rajasthan and has a post-graduate degree in Political Science. Khandelwal, who was arrested yesterday, has been booked for cheating and forgery.
He sold pre-activated SIM cards for around Rs 500 each, said an official. During investigation of espionage case it emerged that an Af-Pak region-based Pakistan intelligence operative was using a SIM card issued from Delhi to contact his agents in the spying ring backed by ISI here. Further investigation revealed that the concerned SIM card was issued on forged identity proof, he said.
A dismissed Air Force official, who allegedly shared secret information with intelligence operatives suspected to be backed by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI after being honeytrapped, was arrested on Monday from Bhatinda in Punjab by Delhi Police. The accused, identified as Ranjith KK, was a leading aircraft man with the Indian Air Force posted in Bhatinda.
He was dismissed from service and subsequently arrested on Monday during a combined operation by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch, Military Intelligence and Air Force Liaisoning Unit (LU). However, the police have yet not found any direct link between Ranjith and the five arrested in connection with a ISI-backed espionage racket earlier, said a senior official.
On October 26, a team of Delhi Police had tracked down an alleged Pakistani Intelligence Operative, identified as Kafaittulah Khan, while he was heading from Jammu to Bhopal, following which four persons, including a serving BSF official, a retired Army personnel and a serving Army rifleman, were arrested.
While Khan, a native of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir and alleged head of a suspected ISI-backed espionage racket was arrested in Delhi, three others were rounded up in Rajouri and one from Siliguri in West Bengal.
The network was claimed to have sources in the Pakistan High Commission here. The arrested persons were booked under provisions of the Official Secrets Act.
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