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The New Arab

Double O Abbas: UAE jails Indian national for spying

We don't know much about agent Abbas, but getting caught suggests he's no Bond [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 January, 2016

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In an alarming development, an Indian national has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of spying for his home country. Could there be other agents?

It is not clear why India's top-secret spy agency RAW would send agents to snoop on the UAE.

For one thing, relations between the Asian giant and the Gulf state are excellent, and a military confrontation between them is almost unthinkable. That is, unless there is a Tom Clancy-esque Indian plot to invade the Emirates, where millions of Indians work and live, in the future.

For another, being caught would put millions of Indians in the UAE and the Gulf nations at risk of being accused of forming a fifth column.

Yet this is exactly what happened: an Indian national living in the UAE was reportedly sentenced to five years in prison on Sunday after being convicted of spying for New Delhi.

The Indian operative, named as Manar Abbas, was found guilty of passing on sensitive information about military vessels' movements in Abu Dhabi ports.

He then passed his observations on to officers at the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, local newspapers said.

Abbas will be deported after serving his sentence.

That is, unless India decides to break its finest agent out of prison and smuggle him back to the motherland...

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