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Two energy consultants held in espionage case

Delhi police

New Delhi: Delhi Police today arrested two energy consultants in connection with leaking of classified documents from the Petroleum Ministry.

Cracking down on a suspected case of corporate espionage, police had yesterday arrested two Oil Ministry officials, a Reliance Industries(RIL) staffer and two other middlemen for allegedly leaking classified government documents to energy companies for money.

“We have arrested Prayas Jain and Shantanu Saikia in this connection. Both of them are energy consultants who received stolen documents,” said a senior police official.

While Saikia is a former journalist who runs a web portal on petroleum issues and has his office in Defence Colony, Jain runs his consultancy firm in Patel Nagar.

Both of them will be produced in court around noon.

Raids were yesterday conducted at several establishments including a prominent building in Connaught Place which houses offices of a leading private petroleum firm believed to be RIL.

In a case reminiscent of the Spy scandal in mid 80s, some journalists who claimed to be independent energy consultants, and employees of certain petro companies were also said to have been detained for questioning in the development that has set off sensation in political and corporate circles.

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi had said that action was taken on a tip off that two persons along with their associates were involved in “procuring, obtaining and stealing the official documents by trespassing into the offices of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at Shastri Bhawan on February 17.”

“A trap was laid and three persons came in an Indigo car near Shastri Bhawan. Two persons alighted and went inside while the third remained sitting in the car. After around two hours, when the two persons entered the car, all three persons were apprehended,” he said.

They were identified as Lalta Prasad (36), Rakesh Kumar (30) and Raj Kumar Chaubey (39). Official documents were recovered from them.

Reliance Industries said it has been brought to the company’s notice that one personnel has been detained by law-enforcement authorities.

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