The National
Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge-sheet against two individuals who
allegedly stole critical computer equipment from an under-construction indigenous
aircraft carrier in Kochi, an official told PTI.

The charge
sheet was filed on Friday against Sumit Kumar Singh from Bihar’ Munger district
and Daya Ram from Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district under sections of the Indian
Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, an NIA spokesperson said.

The two have
been accused of trespass and theft of electronic components, such as
processors, Random Access Memory (RAM) 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 Deputy General
Manager of the IAC Project, Cochin Ship Yard had filed a complaint at the
Ernakulam Town South Police Station on September 16 last year, following which
a case was lodged.

took over the investigation from the Kerala Police after it re-registered the case
on September 26 last year.

The agency
pinpointed the two accused after a nine-month long investigation, which spread
over many states.

They were
arrested from their respective locations in Bihar and Rajasthan and confessed
to their crimes after sustained interrogation, the NIA official said, adding
that the two observed the functioning of the computer systems while working
aboard the IAC and conspired to commit the theft for monetary gain.

Between the
second week of July and the first week of September last year, both accused
individuals trespassed into the warship and stole the components, knowing full well that those pertain to national security, the NIA official said.

The accused
managed to sell one stolen processor before the theft was detected.

returned to their respective hometowns with the remainder of the stolen components
in late September, which the NIA recovered upon their arrest on June 10 this