Six people including two governmental officials and a journalist were arrested by Indian police on charges of corporate espionage on Friday.
According to the police statement, the arrested are allegedly connected to a recent leak of confidential data from India's petroleum ministry. Police says that the criminal scheme included using duplicate keys and forged access cards to sneak into the ministry at night and photocopy top-secret files on high value bids and pricing policies to sell them to the private sector.
"On the basis of preliminary investigations, we can say these documents had been obtained by independent energy consultants… and certain companies working in the field of energy," Bhim Sain Bassi, Delhi police chief, told the press.
No actual names of companies bought the files were revealed, however, one of the Reliance Industries officials is known to be detained earlier in connection with the case. Reliance expressed their determination to cooperate on the case.
Reliance is the country's biggest business conglomerate. It is controlled by the country's wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani, and derives most of its earnings from its massive energy operations.
The arrested journalist ran an oil industry news portal was arrested late Thursday. The official charges are currently unknown.
Corporate espionage is a major problem in India. A report from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry for 2014 said that despite the presence of CCTV and tracking software, only 15-20 percent of corporate espionage cases are detected. And the 2012 report said more than one in three companies was involved in "some form of espionage to gain an advantage over their competitors".