The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has nabbed an autorickshaw driver from Godhra in Panchmahals in connection with an espionage case being investigated in Hyderabad.
The NIA believes that he was snooping for Pakistan secret service agency ISI. Imran Gateli, an auto driver was nabbed in a joint operation of the NIA, Godhra Special Operations Group (SOG) and local police on Monday night. Gateli lived near Polan Bazaar in Godhra.
The NIA said Imran Gateli was involved in recruiting spies for ISI and collecting sensitive information about Indian Naval Ships and submarines.
Who is Imran Gateli
A probe has revealed that Gateli, a father of four, ran an autorickshaw to earn a living and also imported ladies dress material from Pakistan and sell it locally.
He earlier worked as a tailor but closed his shop some time ago. He has been to Pakistan five times in the past and it is suspected he had been recruited by the ISI agency then.
NIA said the sensitive documents relating to national security were also recovered from Gateli’s home.
It is believed that Gateli also sent money to Indians who were stuck in Pakistan during the lockdown. NIA officials are also looking into his bank account details and transactions.
Sources in the know said Gateli blipped on NIA’s radar after he received money through hawala which was later transferred to the account of two navy men.
Gateli has been taken to Hyderabad where he will be questioned further.
What is NIA’s Hyderabad espionage case?
Earlier the NIA had arrested a Kutch resident Razaq Kumbhar from Mundra who had paid an alleged ISI agent Rashid Rs 5000. Rashid was a resident of Uttar Pradesh.
The Hyderabad espionage case refers to an international espionage racket by ISI which recruited agents in India to collect sensitive and classified information regarding Indian Naval Ships and submarines.
A probe revealed that many navy personnel who came in contact with Pakistani agents through social media platforms also got payment in their accounts through ISI’s agents in India.
The agents were those who often had business association with Pakistan and often visited the country.
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