New Delhi: Cracking down on a suspected case of corporate espionage, Delhi Police today arrested two Oil Ministry officials and three other middlemen for allegedly leaking classified government documents to energy companies for money as late night raids were conducted on offices of some of these firms.
In a case reminiscent of the Spy scandal in mid 80s, some journalists who claimed to be independent energy consultants, and employees of certain petro companies were also said to have been detained for questioning in the development that has set off sensation in political and corporate circles.
Disclosing details of the case, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi told newsmen that action was taken on a tip off that two persons along with their associates were involved in "procuring, obtaining and stealing the official documents by trespassing into the offices of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at Shastri Bhawan on February 17." They used to intrude in the night, he said.
"A trap was laid and three persons came in an Indigo car near Shastri Bhawan. Two persons alighted and went inside while the third remained sitting in the car. After around two hours, when the two persons entered the car, all three persons were apprehended," he said.
They were identified as Lalta Prasad (36), Rakesh Kumar (30) and Raj Kumar Chaubey (39). Official documents were recovered from them.
Following up on the arrests, raids were conducted at several establishments including a prominent building in Connaught Place which houses offices of a leading private petroleum firm.
Sources said that more arrests are likely in this case, being probed by elite Crime Branch, in the next couple of days.
Reliance Industries said it has been brought to the company's notice that one personnel has been detained by law-enforcement authorities.
"We are unaware of more details. An internal probe is underway as per our robust internal standards. The matter is under investigation as per law and we are determined to cooperate in every possible manner.
"We are already in International Arbitration with the said ministry on all important matters. Our only expectation is a fair and expeditious resolution of our legal rights and contentions by the Arbitrators," a company official said.