NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said that it had filed a chargesheet against two persons, including a Pakistani national, who routed money through Cryptocurrency exchanges to Indian agents to elicit sensitive information pertaining to vital defence establishments.
The anti-terror probe agency filed a charge sheet against Pakistani national Waseem and Altafhussen Ganchibhai aka Shakil, a resident of Gujarat, for their involvement in conspiracy and espionage activities with an intention to wage war against India, an NIA spokesperson said.
The official said that Ganchibhai has been charged under section 18 of UA (P) Act and 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121A of IPC and 66C of Information Technology Act (misuse of unique identification feature online), while absconding the Pakistani national has been charged under section 17 and 18 of UA(P)A and 120B, 121A of IPC.
The official said that the NIA probe revealed that Ganchibhai, on directions of Pakistan-based handlers had clandestinely activated WhatsApp by passing on OTPs received on Indian SIM numbers to his handlers in the neighbouring country for collection/transmission of sensitive information pertaining to Indian defence forces and establishments.
“These SIM cards were subscribed in the name of Indian fishermen of Gujarat who were earlier arrested by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency in the year 2020 when the fishermen were fishing in the high seas,” the official said.
“Investigation established that these SIM cards were illegally routed back to India to Ganchibhai, who activated seven such SIM cards on directions of his handlers in Pakistan,” the official said, adding that he was arrested on October 25 last year.
Pointing out the role of the absconding Pakistani national, the official said, “Waseem had routed money clandestinely through online Cryptocurrency exchange platforms to Indian agents.”
A case was initially registered at Counter Intelligence Cell Police Station in Vijayawada on January 10, 2020. It was later taken over by the NIA on December 23 last year.