NEW DELHI (AP) — Police have arrested seven people for allegedly stealing classified documents from the Indian government and selling them to energy companies, a top police officer said Friday.
Three men were arrested after they were caught trespassing and stealing documents from India’s ministry of petroleum and natural gas, Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi told reporters.
The men were caught leaving the ministry building Tuesday after authorities acted on a tip that some individuals were stealing and leaking documents from the ministry.
They have been charged with trespassing, forgery and theft.
Four other men, including two energy consultants, were arrested later, Bassi said.
The men would steal documents and photocopy them and sell them to independent consultants and energy companies, Bassi said.
The documents found in the men’s possession were being studied to assess the extent of damage from the leaks, officials said.
“Some confidential documents were leaked to certain independent consultants and energy companies,” Bassi said. “We will analyse the documents that have been recovered and see if the Official Secrets Act needs to be invoked,” he said.
Police said executives from several oil companies in India were being interrogated and more arrests were likely.