Delhi Police on Friday said it has arrested Indian Air Force (IAF) Group Captain Arun Marwaha on charges of espionage for passing secret information to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
"He was arrested on Wednesday after a case was registered against him under the Official Secrets Act (OSA)," Delhi Police Special Cell's Special Commissioner M.M. Oberoi told IANS.
He was produced before a court here on Thursday that sent him to police custody for five days.
The officer, posted at the IAF headquarters in Delhi, is a para-jumping instructor and was in charge of training elite Garud commandos. He has been charged under the Official Secrets Act and faces up to 14 years in jail. He was due to retire next year.
According to a Delhi Police Special Cell officer privy to the investigation, Marwaha shared information and documents with two Pakistani agents who pretended to be women and chatted with him on Facebook. The fake accounts were in the names of Kiran Randhwa and Mahima Patel.
Marwaha allegedly used his smartphone to click pictures of the classified documents pertaining to the IAF headquarters and then sent them across via WhatsApp.
According to the Special Cell’s officer, Marwaha befriended the ISI agents who posed as women models a few months ago.
"They chatted regularly on WhatsApp... and also allegedly exchanged intimate messages. The ISI agents also honey-trapped him after obtaining some of his nude pictures,” the officer said, adding that after gaining Marwaha’s trust, the "Pakistani agents asked the officer for classified documents”.
"The documents which Marwaha shared mostly dealt with training and combat related air exercises. We also found he shared documents of Gagan Shakti, an exercise,” the officer added.
Special Cell’s special commissioner MM Oberoi said Marwaha was detained by the IAF on January 31 after his activities were found "suspicious”. The Air Force had approached the Delhi Police to investigate the case.
An FIR has been filed under sections 3 and 5 of the Officials Secrets Act on the complaint by a senior IAF official. Marwaha's phone has been seized and sent for forensic examination. He has confessed to have had access to many secret documents and plans due to his posting at the air HQs.
He is not the first case of being digitally honey-trapped, in December 2015, an IAF personnel was arrested from Bhatinda Airbase after he passed classified information to an ISI agent.