Oil Espionage Case: Made to Sign Blank Papers, Alleges Arrested Former Journalist Santanu Saikia

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New Delhi: Former journalist Santanu Saikia, one of the 13 arrested in the corporate espionage case has alleged that he has been made to sign a blank paper by the police. “I was made to sign a blank paper, don’t know what is happening,” claimed Mr Saikia as police officers took him to court.

Mr Saikia, who runs an energy portal, was arrested by the Delhi Police on Friday for his alleged involvement in leak of classified government documents from the oil ministry.

Investigations since the arrests have revealed that documents were also stolen from the coal and power ministries, and included an input for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s upcoming budget speech.

Just after his arrest, Mr Saikia had shouted to reporters that he was covering up for a bigger scam. “Quote me, I was doing a cover-up. It’s a Rs. 10,000-crore scam,” he said from a moving police van.

Earlier today the investigators secured five day custody of one Lokesh Sharma, who the police say, had access to coal ministry documents. According to the police Mr Sharma allegedly procured leaked documents from the coal and power ministers.

The investigating team later took Lokesh Sharma, from where the documents had been leaked in an attempt to recreate the crime scene.

Those arrested include government officials who were temporary multi-tasking staff in the oil ministry. They used fake identities to enter the building and the documents were either stolen or photocopied.

The investigation into corporate espionage began soon after the BJP-led coalition took power in May.

A 2014 industry report listed corporate espionage as the ninth biggest threat to companies and said despite the presence of CCTV and tracking software, only 15-20 percent of the cases were detected.

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