The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against two accused for theft of critical electronic components from an under-construction indigenous aircraft carrier at the Cochin Ship Yard Limited in 2019.
According to the NIA, the two accused identified as Sumit Kumar Singh and Daya Ram are residents of Munger district in Bihar and Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan respectively.
The two accused have been chargesheeted under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence, or giving false information), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 454 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking) and 461 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property) and 34 (acts by several in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.
The chargesheet, filed on Friday, pertains to the criminal trespass and theft of critical electronic components including processors, random access memory and solid state drives, installed aboard the indigenous aircraft carrier under construction at the Cochin Ship Yard Limited (CSL) between July and September 2019.
The case was originally registered at Ernakulam town south police station in Kochi on September 16, 2019, based on the complaint of the Deputy General Manager of the indigenous aircraft carrier project.
The NIA had re-registered the case on September 26, 2019, and taken over the investigation from Kerala Police on October 16, 2019.
" After meticulous, extensive and scientific investigation spread over many states in a period of nine months, the NIA zeroed in on the above two accused persons. They were arrested from their respective locations in Bihar and Rajasthan. After sustained interrogation, they confessed to the crime," the NIA said in a statement on Saturday.
The agency said that investigation has revealed that both the accused were engaged as contract employees for painting work aboard the IAC between February and September, 2019.
"While working aboard the IAC, they had observed the computer systems functioning on the warship under construction and conspired, since May, 2019, to commit theft of computer hardware components, for monetary gain," the statement said.
"Consequently, between second week of July and first week of September, 2019, the accused trespassed into the locations aboard the IAC, where the critical computer resources were installed and committed theft of critical computer hardware including Processors, RAMs and SSDs with data, knowing that the same pertains to the security of the nation and hence is restricted," it added.
The NIA informed that the accused sold one stolen processor for monetary gain in September last year, even before the theft was detected and the case registered, and left Ernakulam for their native places later the same month along with the remaining stolen property, which was recovered after their arrest by the NIA on June 10 this year.
( With inputs from ANI )
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