Gujarat man arrested for selling SIM cards to spies India News


New Delhi: Acting on a tip-off from military intelligence, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat Police has arrested a man for allegedly supplying SIM cards to suspects involved in espionage activities of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, sources said.

The accused was identified as Mohammad Saqlain, a resident of Jamnagar.

“Saqlain provided an activated SIM card to Labshankar Maheshwari, a former Pakistani citizen who obtained Indian citizenship and was arrested by the Gujarat ATS in 2023. Maheshwari allegedly assisted a Pakistani intelligence agency official in targeting the Indian military on WhatsApp personnel, by delivering “RAT” malware.

After Maheshwari's arrest, Sakran absconded. However, police continued to monitor his situation and finally found him after a six-month manhunt.

Saqlain and Maheshwari came to the attention of the military intelligence after the department discovered malicious activities by Pakistan Intelligence Officers (PIO) using WhatsApp number 90xxxx6792 to compromise Android phones of serving defense force personnel.

The targets, mostly studying in Army Public Schools (APS) across the country, were tricked into installing certain malicious Android applications (“.apk” files), mostly under the pre-Independence Day name “Har Gher Tiranga” cover for activities.

Among them, WhatsApp users pretended to be school officials, sent malicious applications to these targets, and encouraged them through text messages to install the application and upload photos of wards with flags on the application to participate in the competition.

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MI officials detected that the mobile number was last in Gujarat and sought help from ATS Gujarat Police.

After thoughtful technical analysis and groundwork by the ATS of the Gujarat Police, accused Maheshwari was identified as the prime suspect who assisted the Pakistani agency in acquiring the Indian WhatsApp number by passing the account creation OTP for the Indian WhatsApp number to the Pakistani agency .



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