ISTANBUL: An illegal Iranian spy network was busted on Monday, Azerbaijan’s State Security Service said. Five Azerbaijani citizens, who were part of the network, were arrested for treason, the security service added in a statement.

One of the citizens arrested worked as a captain in the country’s oil fleet in the Caspian Sea. He “collected information about companies and representative offices of foreign countries operating in Azerbaijan, the place and time of exercises conducted by the Azerbaijani Naval Forces, and cargo transported to oil platforms.” Two others reportedly took photos and videos of areas where oil and natural gas pipelines passed through, in addition to the location of various military equipment, and transferred them to the Iranian intelligence. The fourth person who was arrested allegedly shared details about the “political and social processes in Azerbaijan,” as well as information on the location, type and command level of Azerbaijani military units to the Iranian intelligence in exchange for money. The fifth person allegedly determined the location of Azerbaijani citizens hiding in Iran. The statement further said the closed WhatsApp groups operating “on the instructions of the Iranian special service” were exposed during the investigation conducted by the State Security Service.
These WhatsApp groups were trying to propagate “radical and religious-extremist ideas … aimed at the creation of a religious state in Azerbaijan.” (APP)

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