Business

Corporate espionage: CBI conducts more raids in Mumbai

Sources said more government officials, corporate houses could be involved

Widening its probe in the alleged government policy documents leak case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at the premises of Mumbai-based chartered accountant and a law firm even as more government officials and corporate houses are under its scanner.

Sources said the agency recovered confidential government files related to foreign investment proposals while conducting raids at two locations in Mumbai, at Chaitale and Associates, a law firm and at the office of Mitesh J Majithia, a chartered accountant.

The agency had on Thursday arrested three people, including two finance ministry officials, for allegedly selling confidential government documents to a well known chartered accountant, which was passed on to corporate houses. The documents seized during the raid were related to proposals before the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), according to sources.

The two government officials arrested on Thursday — Ashok Kumar Singh, under-secretary in the Department of Disinvestment and Lala Ram Sharma, a section officer in the Department of Economic Affairs — were remanded to CBI custody till March 17 by a trial court in Delhi today.

The agency told the court that the third accused — Khemchand Gandhi, a Mumbai-based chartered accountant was arrested from Mumbai on Thursday and will be brought to Delhi in transit remand.

CBI sources said “there is a likelihood of more government officials being involved” as the agency has found that initial level of decision-making was “allegedly compromised” by the sale of documents at “not a very high premium.” The source said more corporate houses are likely involved as being benefitted from these documents. The agency is tracking around a dozen corporate houses, including HDFC Bank Limited, IndusInd Bank, DLF Limitless Pvt Ltd, etc, sources said. The companies named had either denied having any knowledge about the development or any link with “the wrongdoings”. Sources said names of other firms and consultancies could also prop up during the investigation.

“Looking at the developments over the last two days, the rot in the union finance and commerce ministry appears to be much deeper and systematic,” a source said. The agency is looking at the wider role played by the intermediaries – in this case the law firm or the CA, sources said. The CBI officials ruled out probing any central minister as yet.

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Sources said more government officials, corporate houses could be involved

Widening its probe in the alleged government policy documents leak case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at the premises of Mumbai-based chartered accountant and a law firm even as more government officials and corporate houses are under its scanner.

Widening its probe in the alleged government policy documents leak case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at the premises of Mumbai-based chartered accountant and a law firm even as more government officials and corporate houses are under its scanner.

Sources said the agency recovered confidential government files related to foreign investment proposals while conducting raids at two locations in Mumbai, at Chaitale and Associates, a law firm and at the office of Mitesh J Majithia, a chartered accountant.

The agency had on Thursday arrested three people, including two finance ministry officials, for allegedly selling confidential government documents to a well known chartered accountant, which was passed on to corporate houses. The documents seized during the raid were related to proposals before the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), according to sources.

The two government officials arrested on Thursday — Ashok Kumar Singh, under-secretary in the Department of Disinvestment and Lala Ram Sharma, a section officer in the Department of Economic Affairs — were remanded to CBI custody till March 17 by a trial court in Delhi today.

The agency told the court that the third accused — Khemchand Gandhi, a Mumbai-based chartered accountant was arrested from Mumbai on Thursday and will be brought to Delhi in transit remand.

CBI sources said “there is a likelihood of more government officials being involved” as the agency has found that initial level of decision-making was “allegedly compromised” by the sale of documents at “not a very high premium.” The source said more corporate houses are likely involved as being benefitted from these documents. The agency is tracking around a dozen corporate houses, including HDFC Bank Limited, IndusInd Bank,