On 30 August 2022, eight former Indian Navy officers, Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh, were arrested from Doha by the Qatari intelligence service.
The men were working for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, which was contracted by the Qatari government to build several ships. While the charges against the men were never publicly released, the men were suspected of stealing information relating to Qatar’s U212 Submarine Acquisition program and other information on Qatari naval buildup.
In October 2023, the men were all sentenced to death. However, after winning an appeal in the Qatar Court of Appeal, the court reduced their sentences to jail time. The announcement from the Indian External Affairs Ministry reads below:
“We have noted the verdict today of the Court of Appeal of Qatar in the Dahra Global case, in which the sentences have been reduced.
The detailed judgement is awaited. We are in close touch with the legal team as well as the family members to decide on the next steps.
Our Ambassador to Qatar and other officials were present in the Court of Appeal today, along with the family members. We have stood by them since the beginning of the matter and we will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also continue to take up the matter with the Qatari authorities.
Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of proceedings of this case, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment at this juncture.”