CBI Arrests serving Navy Commanders, 2 Retd staff for Submarine Data Leak 

CBI Arrests serving Navy Commanders, 2 Retd staff for Submarine Data Leak 
source: India Today 

A Commander-rank serving officer, two retired officials of the Indian Navy allegedly leaked confidential information related to an ongoing submarine project in lieu of illegal gratification. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested these persons.

The Case

The CBI officials said the case is related to upgrading Russian-origin Kilo-class submarines joining the Indian fleet.

The information shared was administrative and commercial in nature.

The CBI has registered a case for breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Actions

CBI Arrests serving Navy Commanders, 2 Retd staff for Submarine Data Leak 
source: The Print

The officials said that the secret mission to find the culprit about the leak was initiated a month ago.

They arrested the Commander-rank serving officer from Western Naval Command, Mumbai, last month. Along with the two retired officials, one of them is commodore and another commander, and two other accused were also arrested. Now, all five are in judicial custody.

CBI raided as many as 19 locations across the country in the cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Noida. They recovered many digital pieces of evidence through these raids, and the CBI is conducting forensic analysis on these digital pieces of evidence.

For now, CBI refused to disclose details about the case, and they also didn’t disclose the names of the arrested officers.

The federal anti-corruption probe agency accused the Commander discussed important details with two retired officials about the ongoing project to modernize Kilo-class submarines.

CBI’s anti-corruption unit handles sensitive and high-profile corruption cases. The task was given to them to find out about the leaked information, following which they started the month-long operation.

Their other mission is to find out whether the information has fallen into the wrong hands or not.

The CBI has been reportedly questioning several other serving officers who were in touch with the arrested officers.

As of now, it is unclear if foreign intelligence agencies are involved in the information leak. If there is a connection with foreign intelligence, there could be some more arrests in the case.

CBI is inquiring if the case will evoke the Officials Secrets Act (OSA); in case of evoking OSA, this will be a case of espionage.

A CBI source said that vast amounts of money were involved in the case.  

Actions by Indian Navy  

Indian Navy released a statement on Tuesday, the investigation being carried out properly by CBI related to the alleged leak of information of administrative and commercial nature and sharing the same with unauthorized personnel.

Indian Navy supported the investigation and are helping in its progress.

Indian Navy is also set up an internal inquiry team administered by a Vice Admiral. The set-up team will find out how the information leak happened despite security protocols and advisories and fix it.

Previous Case

In 2005, the Navy was hit by an information leak in its headquarter in New Delhi. It was an infamous war room leak case where 7000 pages of classified information were compromised from the naval war-room and air defence directorate in Air Headquarters.

The case led to the arrest and dismissal of three Navy and one IAF office.

Kilo-Class Submarines

CBI Arrests serving Navy Commanders, 2 Retd staff for Submarine Data Leak 
source: The Print

Kilo-class submarines are diesel-electric attack submarines designed and built in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy. These are among the world’s most common conventional submarines and are currently in service in the navies of several countries.

In India, these attack submarines are categorized under the Sindhughosh class.  

The Indian fleet operates eight such Kilo-class submarines. Four of them are FDW, German origin submarines, three Scorpene submarines built in India under technology transfer from France. Reportedly, three more such Scorpenes will join the fleet soon.

Indian Navy also operates an indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine known as INS Arihant.

India is also pursuing a ₹43,000 crore project for building advanced submarines under the government’s strategic partnership model. The project will exponentially increase the Indian Navy’s underwater force levels.

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