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Fresh arrest exposes new espioge racket

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Feb 2015 12:00 AM GMT

NEW DELHI, February 23: On a day that President Prab Mukherjee promised stricter government action against graft, the ramifications of the leaks in the petroleum and other ministries widened with the Delhi Police claiming to have busted a parallel racket in purloined documents with the arrest of another individual.

“We have arrested one more person, Lokesh, who used to provide stolen documents of coal and petroleum ministry to some corporate houses. His arrest led us to bust another racket,” Delhi Police chief BS Bassi told the media.

Lokesh, in his 30s, has been a former member of the multi-tasking staff (MTS) at Shastri Bhawan in the past.

He was produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate Satish Arora in a Dwarka court and was remanded to five days’ police custody.

Lokesh, who is currently employed with Noida-based energy consultant company Infraline Energy, dealt with documents being stolen from coal and power ministry and passed it to his employers, police said, adding the firm has a huge database of subscribers, both individuals and corporates.

Police sources said corporate espioge was not limited to the petroleum ministry as Lokesh also used the stolen information from the coal and power ministries for the company he worked for.

Police said that a second FIR has been registered against Lokesh and some other people as they were found to be part of another racket in which they used to provide classified documents related to the petroleum, power and coal ministries.

The sources said the Crime Branch got information about Lokesh during its probe into the petroleum ministry leak that was unearthed on the night of February 17, with the arrest of two former MTS employees of Shastri Bhawan.

Lokesh, who went missing a day after the espioge case came to light, was detained a day before his arrest on Sunday.

The Delhi Police team, meanwhile, on Monday detained around eight people working with different ministries including coal, petroleum and energy from Shastri Bhawan.

Police sources also said that they were on the lookout for Rajiv Singh, a coal ministry employee, a man med Jitender and also some of Lokesh’s associates.

More arrests can take place, including from the corporate and government sectors, sources added.

A court here on Monday sent former jourlist Santanu Saikia and three others to judicial custody till March 6 in the petroleum ministry documents leak case.

Before being taken to the court, Saikia told reporters that the Delhi Police officers took his sigtures on five-six blank sheets of papers.

Saikia, who runs a web portal and previously covered the crime beat for several years, was sent to 11-day judicial custody along with Prayas Jain, a Melbourne-based energy consultant; and Rakesh Kumar, 30 and Lalta Prasad, 36 - both brothers and residents of Delhi.

The Delhi Police is likely to summon the seniors of the five corporate officials arrested in the petroleum ministry leakage case, asking them to join the investigations, sources said on Monday.

Police said that they are alysing the documents recovered from all the accused, with the help of the petroleum, coal and power ministries to ascertain their ture documents.

The official said the Official Secrets Act (OSA) would be invoked if any secret documents were found.

Those sent to police custody till February 24 are Reliance Industries corporate affairs mager Shailesh Saxe, Jubilant Energy senior executive Subash Chandra, Reliance ADAG DGM Rishi And, Essar DGM Viy and Cairns India GM KK ik.

Meanwhile, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group said on Monday that no police raids were conducted at any of its offices across the country.

“No search or raid has been conducted by police authorities at any office of the Reliance Group anywhere in India,” the company said in a statement .

Stating that it was “not aware” of the circumstances leading to the arrest of Rishi And, the Group said it is fully cooperating with the authorities in the investigations.

“The work station of only one specific Reliance Power employee was searched, and no incrimiting material of any kind was found,” the statement said.

“We are committed to propriety in all our busines dealings, and do not support unlawful activities of any ture,” it added.

What has emerged till now is that no senior official has been complicit in the leakage of the documents.

“While introducing stricter and sterner measures to deal with corruption, ab effort is being made to ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect bo fide decisions taken in public interest and to inspire confidence in the civil service,” President Mukherjee said in his address to the joint session of parliament on the opening day of the budget session on Monday. IANS

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