New Delhi [India], Feb 16 (ANI): As many as 13 Navy personnel including two civilians have been apprehended in connection with an alleged espionage case where Pakistani intelligence operatives virtually honey-trapped them on social media.
"The 11 Navy personnel and the two civilians have been apprehended in connection with the espionage case so far while a large number of social media profiles of service personnel are under the scanner for being in touch with the suspicious profiles," Navy sources told ANI.
The case had started after a joint operation involving the Andhra Pradesh Police, Naval Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agencies arrested seven navy personnel who have been allegedly involved in espionage. The case is under investigation by the police authorities of Andhra Pradesh in which the Naval intelligence is providing full cooperation.
The Navy personnel apprehended by the police are from the different naval bases including Mumbai, Karwar (Karnataka) and Visakhapatnam.
After being honey-trapped these men had leaked sensitive information related to the Indian Navy through their social media profiles.
After the misuse of social media by the naval personnel came to light, the Indian Navy imposed a strict ban on the use of smartphones and social media applications such as Facebook by its personnel.
However, a similar ban has not been enforced by the Indian Army and Air Force even though they have also faced similar cases in the last few months.
Sources in the Navy said the sudden ban on using smartphones has created issues for the personnel in establishing contact with families and undertaking other digital work for personnel use.
The Navy has allowed the use of older technology mobile phones using 2G connectivity which experts feel, is of limited use and can possibly be intercepted.
However, the Navy sources said the restrictions on the use of smartphones and social media revealing personnel identity have existed for a long time and they are just being strictly implemented at this time. (ANI)