New Delhi: In a possible case of corporate espionage, the Delhi Police have detained two Petroleum Ministry employees and three others for allegedly leaking confidential government documents.
As per reports, the Delhi Police carried out raids at Shastri Bhavan and nabbed the two - one a peon and the other is a clerk.
However, they are said to have had access to the offices of senior officials in the ministry. Of the the other three, one has claimed to be a journalist.
Media reports said that the detained men are being questioned and will be put under arrest. The reports added, the five have allegedly leaked official documents to business houses.
In a major development in the suspected espionage case, Delhi Police said that a Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) staffer was arrested along with two Petroleum Ministry employees for allegedly leaking the documents.
The Reliance Industries said it has launched a "robust internal probe" into detention of one of its employees by Delhi Police in connection with alleged official document theft in the Oil ministry.
The company said no information of commercial consequence to it resides in the ministry with which it is in arbitration in several cases.
"It has been brought to our notice that one personnel has been detained by law-enforcement authorities. We are unaware of more details. As per SOP, a robust internal probe is underway," a company official said.
The matter is under investigation as per law and RIL is are determined to cooperate in every possible manner.
"No information residing in the said ministry is of commercial consequence to us - we are in Arbitration and our only expectation is an expeditious resolution in line with our legal rights and contentions," he added.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the arrest of government employees was not a lapse as it became possible due to new government's efforts to improve security.
"We had put surveillance on them, the police is also investigating. They (suspects) will be severely dealt with, Pradhan said, adding, "This is unfortunate for free and fair governance."
Delhi Police Commissioner told a group of reporters that the recipients have been identified and are being questioned by them. "Documents were obtained by individuals linked to companies operating in the energy," Bassi told.
Giving details of the arrests made, Bassi said, "People used to leak papers for reward, taking cognizance of this we set up a trap in Shastri Bhavan and three people were caught with some classified papers, two more people were detained after interrogation," while adding that the the accused will be charged under Official Secret Act.
Further divulging information on the documents were used to be leaked, he told reporters, "When the office was shut, they would enter the premises with fake ids and duplicate keys. They stole the documents and photo-copied them. One of the arrested also got himself government stickers on his vehicles."