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CBI arrests Canada-based businessman in defence espionage case

In its charge sheet filed before a special court here last month, the CBI had named Raghuvanshi and Pathak as accused in the alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act and related offences, the officials said.

Reported By : Abhay Parashar Edited By : Hritika Mitra
New Delhi
Published on: August 22, 2023 20:44 IST
Canadian businessman Rahul Gaggal
Image Source : LINKEDIN Canadian businessman Rahul Gaggal

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested a Canada-based Indian businessman in connection with a defence espionage case in which a journalist and a former Navy commander were held in May, officials said on Tuesday. 

Rahul Gaggal, a businessman who had taken permanent residency in Canada in 2019, was arrested in the case when he landed here on Monday, they said. The accused were produced before the Competent Court in Delhi and remanded to 4 days police custody.

Earlier, the agency had arrested freelance journalist Vivek Raghuvanshi and former Navy commander Ashish Pathak for allegedly collecting sensitive information on defence matters and passing them on to foreign intelligence agencies. 

In its charge sheet filed before a special court here last month, the CBI had named Raghuvanshi and Pathak as accused in the alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act and related offences, the officials said. Raghuvanshi and Pathak were arrested on May 16. 

What was the case? 

RBI had registered the said case on December 9 last year against the accused on the allegations that the accused was involved in the illegal collection of sensitive information including the minute details of the DRDO defence projects & their progress, sensitive details about the future procurement of Indian armed forces which reveal the strategic preparedness of country’s classified communications and information relating to national security, details of the strategic and diplomatic talks of India with friendly countries and sharing such classified information with intelligence agencies of foreign countries.

Searches were earlier conducted around at 15 locations in Delhi-NCR and at Jaipur which led to the recovery of 48 electronic devices including laptops, tablets, mobile phones hard disks and pen drive etc belonging to the accused and others associated with the accused. Besides, a number of incriminating documents relating to Indian defence establishmentswere seized. 

The data stored in cloud-based accounts, emails, social media accounts belonging to the accused have also been recovered by digital forensic experts of CBI. It was also alleged that the accused and his associate were in possession of classified secret document related to Indian defence establishments. 

Both the accused were arrested during May, 2023. A Complaint/Final Report was also filed on 12.07.2023 against said Journalist and his Associate (ex-Navy Commander).  The two are cureently in judicial custody.

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