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INS Vikrant theft for monetary gain, maintain arrested duo during lie detection test

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted polygraph (lie detection) tests on the two persons arrested for stealing computer hardware from INS Vikrant, India's first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC).

The arrested persons -- Sumit Kumar Singh of Bihar and Daya Ram of Rajasthan – maintained that they carried out the theft for monetary gains, a source told The New Indian Express. The agency is likely to transfer the case to the Kerala police as they gathered no evidence that the duo attempted to wage war against the nation.

The polygraph test was carried out at a laboratory in Thrissur two weeks ago after the accused gave their consent for it at the NIA Court in Kochi. “We decided to conduct the test to check whether the duo's statement about their intention behind the theft was true. During the test, they maintained that they carried out the theft for monetary gain. They knew that high-quality computer hardware is used in the IAC and that it will fetch them a good price,” said a source.

As per the information received, Sumit and Daya, employed by a contractor who was roped in for painting work, entered the IAC construction site at the Cochin Shipyard on various days in August and September last year to steal the hardware. After the theft came to light, they stayed in Kochi for a few weeks before returning to their native places.

The case might be transferred to the Kerala police as evidence to prove the charges against the duo under IPC sections 121 and 121A (waging war against the nation and conspiracy to wage war against the nation) has not been received yet, said the sources.

“The investigation is in the final stage. To check whether charges under Section 66F of the Information Technology Act stick in the case, we are examining if the accused transferred the contents from the stolen hardware to anyone. If no such evidence is received, the scheduled offences will sustain and the case will have to be transferred to the police,” said the source.

Twenty components, including five microprocessors, 10 RAMs, and five solid-state drives (SSD), which were stolen and hidden at the residence of Sumit's brother in Gujarat, have been recovered by investigating agencies. One of the components was sold for Rs 5000 on an online website that sells pre-owned goods when the duo was staying in Kochi.

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