NIA takes over probe on theft in INS Vikrant

NIA takes over probe on theft in INS Vikrant

Photo: INS Vikrant/Wikimedia Commons

The National Investigation Agency has decided to take over the investigation into the theft of computer hard disks and RAMs from INS Vikrant, India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, which is in the final stages of making at the Cochin Shipyard.

The Kerala police team that has been probing the case had not made any breakthrough yet. Moreover there were chances of serious conspiracies behind the theft as it happened in a naval ship that is expected to be commissioned in about two years time. Considering these aspects the NIA decided to take over the probe, said police sources.

The NIA will be re-registering a case which was already registered by the city police and the agency's Kochi unit would be conducting the probe.

The police investigation found prima facie serious security breach on the part of the Shipyard officials as well as the CISF that guarded the Shipyard premises. The investigations were centred around those engaged in the ship's making. Apart from Shipyard employees, casual workers engaged by a private firm were involved in the ship's making.

Components of five computers, including four hard disks and RAM, were reportedly stolen. It contained details about the ship's layout and other technical details. Most of the details were in encrypted form and no vital information regarding Navy's operations were loaded in the computers, the Shipyard authorities maintained.

The theft came to light on September 13. But the Shipyard authorities did not know when it exactly took place.