MI staffer sought Rs 1 cr to trade secrets

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  1. ejazr

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    Oct 8, 2009
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    MI staffer sought Rs 1 cr to trade secrets - Indian Express

    The Army has said that the staffer of a powerful Military Intelligence (MI) unit who was caught in April by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly trying to sell top secret operational information to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI has been placed under arrest and a comprehensive inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

    This, even as it has emerged that the soldier was in ‘negotiations’ to sell the information through a Dubai-based contact as early as January and demanded nearly Rs 1 crore in exchange. The MI, which is also in charge of counter espionage, came into the picture only in April, when he was caught in a DRI trap in Kerala.

    Army HQ officials said that the soldier, identified as Havildar Shivdasan, is currently under detention at a unit based in Kerala and is being thoroughly interrogated. “We are waiting for the inquiry to be completed and a report to be submitted. After this further disciplinary action will be considered,” a top official said.

    At present only the soldier is facing charges but sources elaborated that the inquiry is likely to be widened to probe the role of his associates and superiors and lapses in the command chain. Shivdasan was working as the head clerk of the recently created Technical Support Division (TSD) within MI headed by Colonel Honey Bakshi. The role of the unit, which had access to highly classified information, has now come under the scanner.

    As reported, the Army was baffled by the range and depth of information that the soldier was trying to sell, which included highly classified operational plans and other sensitive data.

    Sources said that according to the preliminary DRI investigation, Shivdasan made the first contact with a Dubai-based agent in the early part of January and initially quoted a sum of Rs 60 lakh for a CD and pen drive that contained classified documents. In addition, the soldier also made a demand for a property in Kochi that would have cost upwards of Rs 30 lakh.

    After almost four months of negotiations, during the time when DRI got into the picture after being alerted by an informant, an unspecified amount was settled upon. The data was recovered from the soldier when he walked into the DRI trap to collect the money.

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