Indian Embassy Employee in Moscow Arrested for Spying for Pakistan

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in Meerut has detained an Indian embassy worker who was employed in Moscow on suspicion of spying for Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency.

According to sources close to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the ministry is aware of Siwal’s arrest in Uttar Pradesh. Siwal worked as a security assistant at the Indian Embassy in Moscow. In this case, the ministry is collaborating with the investigative authorities.

The ATS said in a statement that his arrest happened as a result of information the agency obtained from unidentified sources indicating that ISI handlers were enticing MEA employees to obtain information about the Indian Army.

The ATS was receiving information from a number of confidential sources indicating that the handlers of the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, were paying the Ministry of External Affairs employees to obtain strategically significant information about the Indian Army. This information was likely to pose a serious threat to both India’s internal and external security, according to NDTV.

After that, Siwal was called to be questioned at the ATS Field Unit in Meerut. He admitted to being involved in espionage operations when questioned, unable to give adequate explanations.

According to the report, Siwal has been employed by the Indian Embassy in Moscow since 2021 as an India Based Security Assistant (IBSA).

Constables and head constables in state police forces provide India-Based Security Assistants to the MEA’s Bureau of Security.

IBSAs are selected for deputation for a term of three years, with a minimum of two years required to be posted at a diplomatic mission overseas, per a 2018 announcement soliciting applications.

Before leaving for their foreign postings, candidates go through a rigorous training programme designed to acquaint them with the security-focused architecture of a diplomatic establishment. The upkeep of security equipment that manages entry, checks people and cars, and guarantees the general safety of the property is also covered in this training.

The training emphasizes that a security assistant’s primary responsibility is to protect the diplomatic mission’s assets and personnel. Depending on the particular needs of the embassy, more duties might be assigned. Three high commission employees from Islamabad were recalled by India in 2017 due to suspicions that they were the target of a “honeytrap.” Madhuri Gupta was another well-known case; she was detained in April 2010 subsequent to her recall from the Indian High Commission. She passed away while her appeal in the high court was still pending after being found guilty in May 2018 by a lower court.

Siwal was identified as a major participant in this espionage network. He lived in Shahmahiuddinpur village in Hapur. It is purported that he was abusing his position at the Indian Embassy in Moscow to obtain sensitive documents.

According to the Police press release, Siwal gave crucial information to ISI handlers about the strategic operations of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of External Affairs, and Indian military establishments. Siwal’s alleged motivation for this was money greed.

He was taken into custody on charges of waging a war against the country and violating other Official Secrets Act provisions.

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