The 30-year-old Indian Air Force official Ranjith KK who was arrested on Tuesday for passing on sensitive information to suspected Inter Services Intelligence agents was coaxed into doing so by a possible ISI spy on Facebook, officials said. Ranjith had been contacted by a British journalist Damini McNaught around three years ago and was under the impression he was working as a “defence analyst”, Hindustan Times reported. The Leading Air Craftsman was produced before a court on Tuesday and sent to police custody for four days. McNaught, likely a fake name and a fake Facebook profile created by the ISI, allegedly told Ranjith she was an investigative journalist.
The Times of India reported that Ranjith was so taken with McNaught that he did not think twice before revealing sensitive information including about Air Force deployment, exercises and troop movements. When he did refuse information in October, McNaught blackmailed him with their earlier conversations. Intelligence agencies have been monitoring Ranjith for around three months, reports said.
The Crime Branch earlier this year cracked a spy network within the armed forces, arresting five people including officers from the Border Security Force for supplying information to Pakistan's ISI.