Corporate espionage: Was top petroleum ministry babu’s office bugged?

  • Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2015 01:41 IST

Was there an attempt to bug the petroleum ministry?

A sticky tape with a micro-insertion found beneath a table in the office of a top bureaucrat in the ministry has raised suspicion over snooping attempts to tap information on sensitive energy related matters, sources told HT.

“We cannot rule out any possibility... the matter has been brought to the notice of the investigative agencies, who will look into the matter,” a top petroleum ministry bureaucrat told HT requesting not to be identified.

“In the office of the petroleum secretary, Saurabh Chandra — the ministry’s topmost bureaucrat, a micro hole covered with cello tape was detected under the conference table... this has been brought to the notice of the investigating agencies,” the official revealed.

Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that it is for the investigating agencies to find out. “I am not aware of any such bugging,” he said.

A senior IB official refused to confirm on any such activity.

A similar incident of a possible bugging of a government office was reported in June 2011 when suspicion surrounded the office of the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. The office of the home ministry and the Intelligence Bureau later confirmed that it was just a suspicion and no bugging took place in the office.

The enquiry by investigating agencies including IB was conducted after Mukherjee wrote to then PM Manmohan Singh that 16 adhesives strips were found planted in North Block offices of the FM’s advisor, personal secretary and two conference rooms in 2010.

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