The National Investigation Agency, NIA, has arrested two men from Bihar and Rajasthan for theft of critical electronic hardware from an indigenous aircraft carrier being built at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd between June and September last year.
The anti-terrorism agency, which took over the probe from the Kerala Police in October last year, said it has recovered the stolen electronic items, including processors, RAMs and solid state drives with data “pertaining to the security of the nation”.
A statement from the NIA said Sumit Kumar Singh, 23, and Daya Ram, 22, were arrested on Wednesday after nine months of extensive scientific investigation spread over many states.Singh, who was arrested from Bihar’s Munger district, and Daya Ram, from Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district, confessed to the crime after sustained interrogation. Some stolen electronic devices have been recovered,” the NIA said, adding that some incriminating materials have also been seized during their searches in Bihar, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
“The electronic components include five micro-processors, 10 RAMs, five solid state drives from the multi-functional consoles on the ship,” the NIA statement read.
Investigation reveals that Singh and Daya Ram, who were contractual workers engaged in painting work aboard the under-construction aircraft carrier, stole the devices for monetary gain, and left for their hometowns in September after which a case was filed and investigation initiated by the Kerala Police.The NIA re-registered the case on September 26 and took over the investigation from Kerala Police on October 16.
The agency analysed finger and palm prints of over 5,000 people who worked on the ship during the period, examined a large number of witnesses and also announced a reward of ₹ 5 lakh for information on this “blind case”.