NIA charge-sheets two for stealing hardware from under-construction indigenous aircraft carrier

The NIA re-registered the case on September 26 last year and took over the investigation from Kerala Police

September 05, 2020 01:35 pm | Updated 01:35 pm IST - New Delhi

NIA headquarters in New Delhi./ File

NIA headquarters in New Delhi./ File

The NIA has filed a charge-sheet against two people for allegedly stealing computer devices from an under-construction indigenous aircraft carrier in Kochi, an official said.

Sumit Kumar Singh of Bihar’s Munger district and Daya Ram of Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district were charge-sheeted on Friday under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, an NIA spokesperson said.

The case pertains to criminal trespass and theft of critical electronic components, including processors, Random Access Memory (RAM) and Solid State Drives, installed aboard the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) under construction at the Cochin Ship Yard Limited (CSL), between July and September, 2019, he said.

The case was originally registered at Ernakulam Town South Police Station in Kochi on September 16 last year on the complaint of the Deputy General Manager, IAC Project, Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

The NIA re-registered the case on September 26 last year and took over the investigation from Kerala Police.

After an extensive and scientific investigation spread over many states for nine months, the NIA zeroed in on the two accused.

They were arrested from their respective locations in Bihar and Rajasthan, and after sustained interrogation they confessed to the crime, the NIA official said.

They were engaged as contract employees for painting work aboard the IAC between February and September, 2019.

While working aboard the IAC, they observed the computer systems’ functioning on the warship and conspired to commit theft of the computer hardware components for monetary gain, the official said.

Both the accused, between the second week of July and first week of September last year, trespassed into the IAC and stole 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, the NIA official said.

In September last year, the accused sold one stolen processor before the theft was detected, the official said.

In late September last year, they left Ernakulam for their native places, along with the remaining stolen property, that was recovered after their arrest by the NIA on June 10 this year, the official added.

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