Petroleum ministry document leak case: Hunt on for 2, including a woman

By: | Updated: February 26, 2015 10:45 AM

A hunt is on for two associates of Lokesh Sharma, one of whom is a woman, involved in the corporate espionage...

Petroleum Ministry, Petroleum Ministry leak, petroleum ministry documents, Delhi Police, corporate espionage, Delhi courtOne of the accused produced in Patiala House Court who involved in the Corporate espionage in the Petroleum Ministry scandal. Express Photo by Praveen Khanna

A hunt is on for two associates of Lokesh Sharma, one of whom is a woman, involved in the corporate espionage which operated in power and coal ministries.

Five people have been named in the second FIR out of which Santanu Saikia, Prayas Jain and Lokesh, an energy consultant, are already in custody while two others are on the run.

Lokesh was arrested on Monday by the Crime Branch busting the second module in the corporate espionage case.

“Lokesh was involved in the business of leaking documents since the last eight years. The woman identified as Sonam Gupta worked in Lokesh’s firm used to email the stolen documents to clients. The other accused is the manager of another consultancy firm based in west Delhi’s Janakpuri, who was Lokesh’s client. Raids are being conducted to nab both of them,” said an official associated with the investigation.

Even as examination of recovered documents continued at the Crime Branch’s Interstate Cell at Chanakyapuri, some senior Defence Ministry officials also dropped by.

“They had come to enquire about Virendra Kumar, a casual worker in the Defence Ministry who was arrested yesterday for allegedly providing forged identity card to a key accused in the first FIR in which documents were leaked from the Petroleum Ministry,” he said.

Seven companies are under police scanner in this connection. This includes the five top multinational companies whose executives were arrested on Friday. The other two are Infraline Consultancies where Lokesh worked and Janakpuri-based firm whose manager is on the run.

Investigators are looking into the role of the senior officials of these firms and their call record details and documents are being checked.

“We are looking into the role of senior officials and arrests will be made only on merit. If evidence will point towards someone’s direct involvement, he or she will not be spared,” said another senior official.

However, some of the big players in the game, who had been operating for 10 to 15 years, have gone underground given the media hype this case has got. Investigators also fear that a lot of evidence might also have been destroyed by now, said sources.

Cracking down on a suspected case of corporate espionage, Delhi Police on Thursday arrested two junior Oil Ministry officials and three other middlemen for allegedly leaking classified government documents to energy companies.

On Friday, two energy consultants Santanu Saikia and Prayas Jain and five senior executives from top energy firms identified as Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar, KK Naik from Cairns, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy and Rishi Anand from ADAG Reliance were arrested.

A total of 14 people have been arrested in connection with the two FIRs by the Crime Branch so far.

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