The Andhra Pradesh police on Friday claimed to have busted an espionage racket with links to Pakistan and said that seven Indian Navy personnel and a hawala operator have been arrested in connection with the case.
The eight, arrested from different parts of the country, were produced before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in Vijayawada which ordered them to be remanded in judicial custody till January 3.
The racket was busted in a coordinated effort by the state and central intelligence wings, the Andhra Pradesh police said, but declined to divulge any further details.
A release from the police merely said that the Intelligence wing, in concert with central intelligence agencies and naval intelligence, launched 'Operation Dolphin's Nose' and busted the espionage racket.
"An FIR has been lodged and seven Navy personnel and a hawala operator have been arrested from different parts of the country. Some more suspects are being questioned," the police release said.
The investigation was on, it added, without further details.
When contacted, state Intelligence Inspector General of Police Manish Kumar Sinha said they were not authorised to say anything on the case. "We have given all details to the CPRO (chief public relations officer). You will get them from him," he said.
The CPRO said that except the two-line note, no more details were made available.
However, some media reports suggest that the officers who were held, were honey-trapped on Facebook as a handler from Pakistan allegedly created several fake handles on social media, posing either as a woman or as 'spiritual gurus' and attempted to extract sensitive information.
Senior authorities however said that while the arrested officers may have passed on rudimentary information, a system was in place to ensure that there was no major breach of security.