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Top secrets leaked for MNC jobs in US?

By Krishnadas Rajagopal in New Delhi
September 24, 2006 16:26 IST
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All it took was an offer of plum portfolios in United States multinational companies like Microsoft for two senior staffers of National Security Council Secretariat to leak top secret documents to elusive American 'diplomat' Rosanna Minchew, a Delhi police probe has revealed.

Security agencies are still taking stock of the extent to which classified files have been accessed by the two accused NSCS employees.

Classified documents seized from the accused persons, include Nuclear Doctrine draft report, the foreign policy on the Thai KAR Canal and futuristic NSCS plans for data sharing network among security agencies, police said.

Retired NSCS employee Mukesh Saini, at the time of his arrest in June 2006, was nurturing a 'promising' career with US-based software giant, Microsoft -- courtesy Minchew.

His co-accused, Shib Shanker Paul, a senior computer analyst with the NSCS, even disclosed that he worked for Minchew as she had 'assured him of a good job in any of the US IT multinationals,' police said.

Both Saini and Paul have been accused of criminal conspiracy and offences under the Official Secrets Act in a chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police Special Cell before Delhi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seema Maini recently.

Minchew was introduced to Saini, then a naval commander posted at NSCS, in August 2005 by US diplomat Howard Madnick as the new 'political officer' in charge of the Indo-US Cyber Security Forum. The duo allegedly met several times during training sessions and seminars at his NSCS office in Patel Bhawan.

"On one such occasion, he (Saini) told Minchew that he is going to retire soon and needs a suitable job... She referred his name to Microsoft and Saini gave her all information relating to NSCS," police said.

Saini went on to voluntarily retire from the Indian Navy on April two this year and joined Microsoft eight days later. Police also claim that Saini made frequent calls on his cell phone to US State Department officials and also wrote e-mails asking them to do him a 'favour' by getting him a 'good job' in any US MNC. Investigators have also seized a laptop allegedly provided to him by Microsoft.

"Accused Saini gave information to Minchew and in return she arranged a job for him just after voluntary retirement," police said in the chargesheet.

Analysis of a pen drive recovered from Paul's NSCS office showed 67 files containing over 1,000 pages of data marked 'secret' relating to national security. It involved data on monthly intelligence reviews, strategic analysis and documents of strategy with foreign nations, police said.

Saini was in the US attending a meeting of Microsoft when the police allegedly raided his Arjun Vihar home in New Delhi and seized a CPU, two hard disks, four CDs and sensitive documents on 'KRA Canal of Thailand and its impact on India and draft report of the Indian Nuclear Doctrine.'

"If the seized documents were passed on to any foreign agent, they can be used for purpose prejudicial to the safety or interest of the State," police said.

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Krishnadas Rajagopal in New Delhi
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