An Air Force officer has been arrested in Delhi on charges of espionage and passing on classified information to Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI. Group Captain Arun Marwaha, 51, was honey-trapped by a Pakistani agent who chatted with him on WhatsApp pretending to be a woman, say investigators.
Sources say the ISI agent contacted the officer a few months ago and started chatting with him regularly. The two even exchanged intimate messages. After gaining his trust, the agent asked the officer for classified documents and allegedly got them.
The Group Captain had been detained by the IAF for investigation on January 31 after his activities were found suspicious.
According to sources, Marwah had been honey-trapped online by the ISI through Facebook accounts in mid-December. ISI operatives were masquerading as models through these profiles. After being lured through seductive conversations for a week or so, he was enticed to share information pertaining to IAF exercises.
According to a report in The Times of India, cops have not found any evidence of a monetary exchange till now and say Marwaha was passing on classified information in lieu of sex chats. The documents mostly comprised of training and combat-related air exercises. Gagan Shakti was one such exercise whose details he passed on to the ISI, a source told the paper.
While police remained tight-lipped, sources confirmed to TOI that Marwaha was produced before the court of Deepak Sehrawat at Patiala House and taken on five days of police remand by the special cell. He is being interrogated at the cell's headquarters in Lodhi Colony in New Delhi and is also being probed if he had any accomplices.
The police now aim to identify the Pakistani handlers and gather more details about the shared documents.
Marwaha's phone has been confiscated and sent for forensic examination. He has confessed to have had access to many secret documents and plans due to his posting at the air headquarters.
A senior Air Force officer reportedly discovered the massive breach and set up an internal investigation. When Group Captain Marwaha's role was revealed, the officer informed the Delhi Police.
A special cell of the police filed a case against the officer on Thursday and arrested him. He has been sent to five days' custody.