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Three Locksmiths Held in Corporate Espionage Case

Published: 23rd February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Three locksmiths, who are suspected to have made the duplicate keys that helped three accused steal documents from various ministries in the “corporate espionage” case, were tracked down by a Delhi Police team on Sunday.

A detailed report of the case, in which eight top companies including RIL and Essar are involved, was submitted personally by the Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi to the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the arrested locksmiths were taken to the Crime Branch office in Chanakyapuri where they were questioned at length to ascertain whether they were aware of the espionage.

While the trio has confessed to have made duplicate keys for two of the arrested suspects, they denied having any knowledge of the document leak. Their statements have been recorded and they are likely to be made witnesses in the case, sources said.

Two arrested suspects in the case - Rajesh Kumar and Lalta Prasad - had duplicate keys for seven rooms, including that of the Special Secretary, two Joint Secretaries and some other senior officials.  Both the accused were again taken to the Petroleum Ministry offices on Sunday to collect more evidence. 

The duo is among 12 persons arrested so far for either stealing documents from various ministries or receiving them.

Police said they were doing photocopying job without any help from others who could tell them which paper was relevant and which was not.”  

Rajesh and Lalta would indiscriminately photocopy every paper without checking which was useful for the two energy consultants, who, in turn, used to pass the documents to some others. These consultants were left with the job of sifting the useful papers from the useless ones,” said an officer associated with the probe.    But the tedious process ‘trapped’ Rajesh and Lalta as they left an important document atop the photocopying machine. The officer said that this goof-up led to the arrest of the duo.

Officers probing the case also ruled out the possibility of any top official’s role in the document smuggling incident.

They said the bureaucrats already have access to most of these documents and they don’t have to steal them. 

On the arrest of five corporate employees, the Delhi Police said that their companies were direct beneficiaries of the leaked documents. “Those companies made windfall gains after securing these documents,” said a senior officer.

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