New Delhi: Ravi Inder Singh, the top bureaucrat in Home Ministry involved in a sensational corporate spying case, was arrested on Tuesday night for criminal conspiracy and Prevention of Corruption Act.
Earlier on Tuesday, a businessman named Vineet, alleged middleman who cut deals for Singh, was also arrested.
The IAS officer handled almost 5,000 security-related cases in crucial sectors of telecom, mining, shipping and surface transport.
Singh was questioned twice by Delhi Police in the last 24 hours leading to sleazy details of the espionage racket. Sources say Singh, in addition to money, also wanted sex.
Vineet is a businessman from West Bengal and an old friend of Singh. He had gifted Singh four mobile phones which were used for coded communication between the two.
In those conversations, prasad and ladoos stood for money, hardware for rooms and software for call girls whose services Singh would demand in return for providing information on movement of files and file notings.
Sample the conversation between the duo:
Ravi Inder Singh: "Prasad kitna milega"
Ravi Inder Singh: "Ladoo kitna chadaoge"
At another occasion:
Ravi Inder Singh: "hardware kaisa hai? Ukraine ka software milega?"
Vineet: "Nahi…Ukraine ka nahi hai"
Sources say Vineet's arrest came after a telecom company informed the MHA that some broker had approached them offering to get their work done.
The Home Ministry seems to be playing down the case, clarifying that Inder Singh hasn't been arrested but detained for corporate espionage.
U K Bansal, Secretary Internal Security, said, "Involvement of such a high ranking officer is a matter of concern. Delhi Police will submit its report by Tuesday evening to MHA."
According to Home Ministry sources, Singh's corportae snooping first came to light when Vineet was heard boasting to a telecom company that he knew officers in MHA and could get their work done.
Subsequent surveillance of all phones in home ministry lead to Ravi Inder Singh and the ministry finally gave Delhi Police the go-ahead to take action on Monday.
Sources say so far Singh has denied any wrong doing in his questioning by Delhi Police.
MHA is preparing to initiate departmental action against him irrespective of the criminal case that Delhi Police might lodge against him.