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Oil min espionage: It's a Rs 10,000 cr scam, claims arrested journalist Saikia

The oil ministry espionage scandal got murkier today when former journalist and energy consultant Shantanu Saikia, who has been arrested by the Delhi police as an accused for stealing documents from the ministry and leaking them to corporate houses, claimed that the entire episode is a Rs 10,000 crore scam and that he was merely 'doing a cover up'.

"Quote me, I was doing a cover up. It's a Rs 10,000 crore scam," Saikia shouted out from the police van.

Saikia's comments come two days after the police arrested five people - two petroleum ministry employees and three others - for stealing documents and leaking them to corporate houses.

With seven arrests Friday, the total number of those held rose to 12.

According to the police complaint, the stolen documents included inputs for the Union Budget 2015 and a letter concerning the Prime Minister's Office. The documents were also related to the power and coal ministries.

 Oil min espionage: Its a Rs 10,000 cr scam, claims arrested journalist Saikia

Shantanu Saikia

The First Information Report details how the "secret papers" were photocopied after office hours by the arrested persons, who used duplicate keys to open offices after entering Shastri Bhawan with the help of forged identity cards and temporary passes obtained fraudulently.

The  Delhi Police Crime Branch today raided the office of a petrochemical company in Noida after it searched the office of arrested energy consultant Prayas Jain. Police sources said that Subhash Chandra, a senior
executive with Jubilant Energy, who was arrested along with four other top officials of energy companies yesterday, was taken to Jain's office in the morning

Earlier today, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said no guilty person would be spared in the case relating to the leak of documents from the petroleum ministry and strong action would be taken against them.

Rajnath Singh said the government should be commended for unearthing the scandal.

"We should be commended as we found out that this was happening, the culprits will be punished," he told reporters.

"If we would have not been vigilant, this (scandal) should not have been busted," he added.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2015 16:56:46 IST