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Pakistani Embassy Official Tied to Delhi Spy Ring, Declared 'Persona Non Grata'

Sputnik News

11:13 27.10.2016(updated 11:57 27.10.2016)

Delhi police claim that Pakistani Embassy official Mehmood Akhtar was the kingpin of a spy ring and recruited Indians who came seeking visas to travel to Pakistan.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – According to Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police Ravindra Yadav, three individuals were arrested on Wednesday in Delhi over charges of espionage including one Pakistan Embassy staffer, Mehmood Akhtar. They were found in possession of confidential documents related to the troop movements of the Indian Border Security Force and lists of service personnel.

Initially, Akhtar claimed to be an Indian citizen as he was holding an Indian ID card (Adhar Card or Unique Identification Number) which turned out to be forged. During the investigation he revealed that he was an employee of the Pakistan High Commission in India and sought diplomatic immunity. The police later released him due to his diplomatic immunity.

According to Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police Ravindra Yadav, "The Pakistan high commission official was the kingpin. He used to recruit Indians for espionage and would then send the information to Pakistan."

"The (spying) module was active for a year and a half. We have been working to bust it for the past six months," Yadav said. "We recovered documents on defense deployment and border area maps. They had lists of BSF men who were deployed, transferred or retired," the Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police added.

The police are on the lookout for more people who are said to be involved in the spy ring.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup tweeted that Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit "to convey that the Pakistan High Commission staffer has been declared persona non grata for espionage activities".

According to Foreign Ministry officials, the Pakistan High Commission strongly protested the detention of the High Commission official and told the Indian Foreign Office that the Pakistan High Commission staffer never engaged in any activities considered incompatible with its diplomatic status.


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