Vikash Sharma

News Highlights

  • One of the five accused received cash transfer of around Rs 38,000 from a bank account in Dubai.

The Odisha Crime Branch on Tuesday made some sensational revelations in the highly sensitive Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) espionage case probe.

Crime Branch ADG, Sanjeeb Panda today said that one of the five accused, who have been arrested so far in the case, received cash transfer of around Rs 38,000 from a bank account in Dubai. The money was transferred to the accused’s account in two instalments.

Similarly, the bank account details and other financial transactions of other four accused are also being examined by a team of senior officials. “We have seized mobile phones of all the five accused. From the investigation so far, we have ascertained that one of the accused had received cash in two instalments from Dubai. The other accused are being interrogated on various aspects included finances,” said Panda.

According to Panda, the role of a female conduit in the espionage ring has come under scanner during the probe. The female operative came in contact with the five accused over Facebook.

“The female operative was using a UK based telephone number to chat with the five accused through Facebook messenger and Whatsapp for sharing/exchange of information. We will conduct more investigation in this connection,” said Panda.

Dismissing media reports that NIA is also investigating the case, Panda said a two member team of the Indian Air Force (IAF) had also quizzed the accused in the past two days. The NIA is yet to interrogate the arrested persons presently lodged at the Crime Branch headquarters in Cuttack, the senior official said.

Speaking on the next course of the investigation, the Crime Branch ADG said, “All the social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram) of the accused will be thoroughly checked and examined. The mobile phones will be sent for cyber forensic examination. We will also try to ascertain if the accused received money through any other means.”

So far five persons including Sachin Kumar, a driver at Chandipur DRDO, Basanta Behera, an AC operator, Hemanta Kumar Mistri, a diesel gen-set operator, Tapas Ranjan Nayak, an employee at ITR main gate and SK Musafir, an AC operator have been arrested in the alleged espionage case.

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