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CBI arrests Canada-based businessman in defence espionage case

New Delhi: The CBI has arrested a Canada-based 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 Gangal, the businessman who had taken Permanent Residency in Canada in 2019 and also worked in a multi-national corporation, was arrested after he arrived here on Monday, they said. The probe agency received information about Gangal's arrival and located his place of stay in Delhi. He was arrested from there, a CBI spokesperson said. According to officials, a special court has sent the accused to CBI custody for four days.

The agency had earlier 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.

The CBI was on the trail of suspects based in India and abroad since the arrest of Pathak and Raghuvanshi, officials said.

In its charge sheet filed before a special court here last month, the CBI accused Raghuvanshi and Pathak of violating the Official Secrets Act and related offences, the officials said.  Raghuvanshi and Pathak were arrested on May 16.  "It was alleged that the accused (Raghuvanshi) and his associate (Pathak) who is presently working with a (private) firm, were in possession of classified secret document related to Indian defence establishments," a CBI spokesperson had said after registration of the case.  The CBI took over the probe from the Delhi Police's Special Cell, which was tracking Raghuvanshi since September last year when it registered an FIR against him.  Raghuvanshi was allegedly collecting sensitive information and minute details about the progress of various DRDO projects, the CBI alleged.

He was also collecting details of future procurement plans of Indian armed forces which could have adversely affected the country's strategic preparedness, the agency alleged. The CBI has alleged that Raghuvanshi had collected information about classified communication information related to national security, besides details of strategic and diplomatic talks of India with friendly countries. This information, if brought out, could have spoilt India's bilateral relations with these countries, they said. PTI ABS.

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