Espionage ring accused Shoaib was arrested in New Delhi on Friday after being brought from Jodhpur, with police claiming that he was in touch with the expelled Pakistan High Commission staffer for the last three-four years and had visited the neighbouring country six times.

Investigators said they will try to recover data from a ‘phablet’ seized from his possession, which he had tried to damage when police in Jodhpur detained him last evening, and question him along with the two other alleged spies Subhash Jangir and Maulana Ramzan arrested in the case.

b’A file photo of Shoaib | Source: PTI’

It is alleged that Shoaib, who is a passport and visa agent, had been responsible for recruiting Subhash and Maulana in the module. “Shoaib visited Pakistan where his maternal grandparents live at least six times,” said Ravindra Yada, joint commissioner of police (Crime). He was in touch with the Pakistan High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar for the last three-four years, he said. Yadav said that some documents and a phablet were recovered from Shoaib.

“There were some classified documents recovered from him. A phablet was also found with him. He had tried to damage the phablet so that the data cannot be recovered but we will try to recover the information,” added Yadav.

While Subhash and Maulana had told the police that Shoaib was also present at the Delhi Zoo when they were handing over the documents to Akhtar, Shoaib told the police that he was present at a hotel. “He had stayed in the hotel while the other two went to the zoo for handing over documents. When he saw that the mobile phones of the other two were switched off, he sensed something wrong,” said Yadav.

The officer also said that Shoaib will be questioned along with Subhash and Maulana to clear the contradictions in their versions. Shoaib’s family has a clothes shop in Jodhpur. He was involved in his family business and was also working as a passport and visa agent. Shoaib was detained near Jodhpur last evening after Delhi police alerted the local police.

b’Arrested Jodhpur-based passport and visa agent Shoaib allegedly involved in the espionage ring run by a Pakistani High Commission official brought at Delhi Crime Branch office in New Delhi | Source: PTI’

While Akhtar was on Thursday declared persona non grata, Subhash and Maulana have been arrested on charges of sharing of sensitive information and defence documents and deployment details of BSF along the Indo-Pak border.

They were sent to 12-day police custody. Shoaib had come in contact with Maulana around one-and- a-half years back and lured him into activities of collecting vital information about installations of army and paramilitary forces in Gujarat and Rajasthan, an officer said. “We had sent a request to Jodhpur Police about detaining Shoaib and last evening he was detained,” said the officer. 

(Feature image source: PTI)