Corporate espionage in oil ministry: Delhi police arrest former journalist Santanu Saikia

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NEW DELHI: Delhi Police crime branch has arrested former journalist Santnu Saikia and another energy consultant Prayas Jain on early Friday.

It has reported that TOI has first reported about Jain being questioned on Friday. Jain runs an oil and gas firm based in New Delhi and Melbourne. Saikia runs an energy portal named indianpetro.com.

Saikia and Jain have been accused of buying the leaked documents, analysing them and selling them off to business houses, police say.

The number of arrests has shot up to 7 including 4 multi-tasking officers of the petrolium ministry.

The arrested men will be produced in court around 2pm Friday. More arrests are likely.

The RIL and Essar staff are still being quizzed. The cops have raided their offices along with that of two others like Cairn energy and recovered several documents and hard drives.

The Delhi Police has now formed a SIT to investigate the ongoing case of corporate espionage. It comprises addl CP Ashok Chand, DCP Bhisham Singh, ACP KPS Malhotra, Inspectors Kulbir Singh, PC Yadav, Arvind and SI Ritesh among others.

Joint CP (crime) Ravindra Yadav said that they had received information that two persons alongwith their associates wee involved in procuring/obtaining/stealing the official documents by trespassing into the offices of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

After this, a trap was laid and three persons were spotted coming in an Indigo car to 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 added.

“They were identified as Lalta Prasad (36) from Khichdipur, Delhi, Rakesh Kumar (30) from Nairoji Nagar and Raj Kumar Chaubey (39 ) from Vaishali, Ghaziabad. Official documents were recovered along with duplicate keys used by them for accessing the offices of the MoPNG officials, forged Id-card and fraudulently obtained temporary passes were also recovered. The indigo car was having an unauthorized signage declaring the car to be of Bharat Sarkar/Government of India,” Addl CP Ashok Chand said.

It was revealed that Lalta Prasad and Rakesh Kumar are both brothers and both had earlier been temporarily employed as Multi Tasking Staff at Shastri Bhawan. In the year 2012, both left the employment. During their stint at Shastri Bhawan, they realized that they could easily lay hand on the official documents.

(Times of India)

“They further disclosed that they were assisted by their father Asharam and Ishwar Singh, both Multi Tasking Staff employees at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi. Recently CCTV cameras had been installed at Shastri Bhawan. In order to evade the surveillance of CCTV cameras, they got disabled CCTV cameras during the time they entered Shastri Bhawan,” DCP Bhisham Singh said.

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