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In a significant development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested a serving officer of the Indian Navy and two retired officers, along with two “private persons” with the alleged leaking of confidential information related to the modernization of the Kilo-class conventional submarines. The Navy is also conducting an internal inquiry, headed by a Vice Admiral, into the case to probe the information-leak and suggest measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

The serving officer of the rank of a Commander (equivalent to Lt-Colonel in the Army) was arrested by the CBI from the Western Naval Command in Mumbai last month. Among the four other accused, one retired as a Commodore and another as a Commander. All five are now in judicial custody.

The searches were carried out at 19 locations including Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, and Hyderabad. Several electronic gadgets and other incriminating materials have been seized which are being scrutinized.

The CBI has been reportedly questioning a number of other serving officers who were in touch with the arrested officers. The Indian Navy has also been providing assistance in the ongoing investigations by the Central agency and sending its men for necessary interrogation.

It is claimed that the commander had discussed crucial details about the ongoing modernization project of Kilo-class submarines with the two retired officers for alleged illegal gratification, officials told PTI.

The Anti Corruption Unit of the agency, which handles sensitive and high profile corruption cases, was tasked to unearth the leakage of information following which the operation was started.

As soon as the matter was brought to the notice of the top Naval brass last month, they formed a five-member team headed by a Vice Admiral to start a parallel investigation in the matter and plug any other possible information leaks in the force.

As per ANI, the probe agencies have been monitoring the activities of a large number of ex-servicemen officers from all three services which lead to the recent arrests in the case. More arrests are also possible as some more inputs have been received by them, it added.

The Prestige of Kilo-class Submarines

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. To date, the government has acquired 10 such underwater vessels, all of which have undergone extensive modernization, some details of which remain classified.

Presently, the Navy has 15 conventional submarines and two nuclear submarines.

Team Eastern Interest
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