Corporate espionage: Forest ministry under scanner, details of modus operandi unfold

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New Delhi, Feb 26: The arrest of a staff in the Ministry of Environment and Forests in connection with the corporate espionage case has widened the probe.

Jitender Nagpal, the Personal Assistant to the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests,  was arrested after it was found that some documetns had been leaked.

Arrest

The Delhi police, which is probing the case, says that the same module which was involved in stealing and leaking the documents had their men in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Telecommunications, and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Lower rung will lead to arrest of bigger officials:

When asked if the entire investigation is focused only on nabbing the lower rung, an officer with the Delhi police informed Oneindia that they are progressing step by step.

"These persons, whom we have arrested, were the ones who were on the field. They were the ones accessing the files, stealing it and then supplying it," said the officer.

The officer also said, "We are, however, sure that they could not have gone about their work without the blessings of the higher officials. We are questioning them and the names of several bureaucrats have come up."

He added, "We are taking it one at a time and in due course the probe will reach up to the highest level of people who are involved in the case, the officer also said. So far we have managed to find out details about around 150 documents that have been leaked."

The officer said in the weeks to come they would be summoning several senior bureaucrats in the ministry for investigation. Bureaucrats, employees and officials with the Public Sector Undertakings will also be questioned as we have found the involvement of some of them in this case, the officer further informed.

Corporates placed demands for documents:

The corporates, who were involved in this scam, had demanded several documents. They kept in touch with the accused persons and very often instructed to pull out particular documents which were of interest to them.

It has been found that documents from the forest ministry, ministry for transport and highways had been demanded by the corporates.

All these documents pertained to decisions of the government and also tenders. These documents came in handy for these documents who were investing in this sectors and helped them plan their projects better.

In addition to this we have also found that corporates very often played a major role in the appointment of joint secretaries in the ministries.

They were found to be lobbying for some people and this was done with an intention of keeping tabs and pulling documents out of the ministries.

Influencing appointments in ministries was done either through lobbying of doling out donations to some political parties with the hope of a favour.

Change in government did not affect corporates:

Former Cabinet Secretary, V Balachandran had pointed out in an interview with Oneindia yesterday that permanent bureaucracy was the problem and not political parties.

The corporates managed to get documents out of the ministry despite a change of guard at the centre because they had nurtured officials since the past several years.

Many officials continued to remain loyal to the corporates and for them the new government did not matter. Their network had become so strong that decisions taken in the ministries were leaked out in minutes.

OneIndia News

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