Nearly four years after he was declared a proclaimed offender by a Delhi Court, Ravi Shankaran, one of the main accused in the Naval War Room leak case, has been arrested in London.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated the legal process to seek his extradition to India.

Ravi Shankaran, a relative of the former Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on April 21 and it informed the CBI about it. “Shankaran has been arrested in London and we have initiated the process for his early extradition,'' CBI Director Ashwini Kumar said here on Thursday.

Describing it as a “major breakthrough'' in the sensational case, the CBI chief expressed the hope that the key accused would be extradited as soon as possible. He said the arrest was also an example of growing international police cooperation in tracing and arresting fugitives.

A Delhi court in 2006 declared him a proclaimed offender and the CBI also got an Interpol alert notice issued against him. The case was registered on March 20, 2006. The first charge sheet was filed in July 2006 against two retired Lieutenants and two ex-commanders of the Navy, and an ex-Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force. They were charged with criminal conspiracy in obtaining classified documents through pen drives.

The second charge sheet against a private person, a top official of a company, was filed in October 2006. The close links of the accused with the key accused charge sheeted earlier in the case, have been established, with the pen drives and some of the classified documents leaked. The modus operandi of obtaining classified documents by cultivating defence officials through lavish parties and giving illegal gratifications of different kinds, has been established by the agency.

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