Delhi police arrested two government employees on Thursday as the probe widened in the corporate espionage scam involving the sale of classified documents from key ministries to private energy companies and consultancies.
The crime branch arrested the two men employed with the environment ministry and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), who allegedly stole sensitive documents from offices of the oil, coal and power ministries.
Jatinder Nagpal, 40, and Vipan Kumar, 42, were on the payroll of energy consultants and executives of corporate houses, said sources.
While Nagpal is a close aide of a joint secretary in the environment ministry, Kumar is employed as personal assistant to a UPSC member, officials said.
“As of now it has not come to the fore that documents were stolen from the two organisations they worked in,” police commissioner BS Bassi said.
Nagpal worked in the ministry’s climate change division that does not deal with much sensitive information and he had nothing to do with an annual Cabinet note related to India’s stand on issues at the UN climate conference, insiders said.
However, ministry officials did not rule out the possibility of Nagpal being associated with alleged leakage of sensitive information, especially those on project clearances, from other divisions of the ministry.
Police have, so far, arrested 16 people from two modules and registered two FIRs in connection with the leak of classified documents from several ministries.
Investigators said at least seven more people, already identified, will be arrested soon.
Last Friday, two energy consultants, Santanu Saikia and Prayas Jain, as well as five senior executives from top energy firms RIL, Essar, Cairn India and ADAG Reliance were arrested.
“Nagpal and Kumar worked in connivance with arrested energy consultant Lokesh Sharma. Apart from getting classified documents themselves as well as with the help of their contacts in the ministries, the two purchased stolen documents from Sharma and others,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint CP (crime).
During questioning, the two men said they were part of the corporate espionage racket for the past 15 years, said Yadav. “They shared a common e-mail ID which was being used to forward documents to their clients. We have got their police custody for five days from a Delhi court,” he said.