The police action followed complaints by the oil ministry and is said to have come after the Intelligence Bureau had tailed these persons and tipped off the police. “Sensitive” documents have reportedly been leaked from the ministry in recent times. These documents included internal communications on decisions with far-reaching commercial impact, such as gas pricing and arbitration cases against Reliance Industries with billions of dollars at stake.
This is how this ‘corporate espionage’ unfolded:
*Four (present and former) multi-tasking staffers at Shastri Bhawan were found stealing documents from petroleum ministry. They were helped by an acquaintance.
*Documents were lifted at behest of lobbyists, corporate houses and consultants.
*Papers were allegedly used to play the national, global markets.
The modus operandi
*The gang had forged IDs & entry passes to Shastri Bhawan
*They entered ministry after office hours, disabled CCTVs & used duplicate keys to access papers
*They photocopied papers or stole them, as per demand
*The documents were sold by the thieves for Rs 5,000-10,000. At times, they charged more if papers were difficult to obtain.
*Recipients allegedly traded these papers for hefty considerations running into lakhs and crores
What was leaked
*Minutes of meetings, orders, communiques and proposals
Action on companies
RIL’s office at Gopaldas building in CP and Essar’s premises raided
*It has been brought to our notice that one personnel has been detained.
*The matter is under investigation and we will cooperate.
*We are already in international arbitration with the ministry on all important matters.
*Our only expectation is a fair and expeditious resolution of our legal rights and contentions by the arbitrators.