New Delhi: Two petroleum ministry employees and three others have been arrested by the Crime Branch for stealing official documents and leaking them to corporate houses, police said Thursday.
Police said a clerk and a peon in the ministry stole the secret papers, photocopied them and handed them over to three private people in exchange for money.
Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi said those arrested belong to the multi-tasking staff (MTS) of the petroleum ministry.
He said they have been booked under charges of stealing, forgery, trespassing and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
"Two of the arrested people are MTS employees while the other three are former MTS staff. They were involved in this act for a long time. They provided the photocopies of the secret documents to non-government people for reward," Bassi said.
"The secret papers of the ministry were delivered to some corporate houses to benefit them," he said.
He said the secret documents were stolen from the office of the petroleum ministry situated in Shastri Bhawan -- a sprawling building that houses a number of ministries of government of India like petroleum, human resource development, law and justice, and information and broadcasting, among others.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Thursday said strict action will be taken against those involved in stealing secret documents of his ministry.
Police had arrested three people Tuesday night but they revealed it to media Thursday after they arrested two more people, who are the government employees.
"Three outsider culprits were arrested from Shastri Bhawan in the night of Feb 17 as we had already put a trap there on the basis of prior information.
"We recovered some secret document of the petroleum ministry from their possession. One of them is a driver while two are former MTS staff of Shastri Bhawan," Bassi said.
Two more people, working in Shastri Bhawan, were arrested later on the information of these three, Bassi said.
The Crime Branch officials are questioning the arrested people to ascertain details about the companies to which they leaked the documents.
Police are also trying to find out what kind of information was shared with the private corporate houses.
All petroleum companies are on police radar and those which benefitted with these secret documents will shortly be summoned by police, said an official probing the case.