Corporate espionage: consultancy firm PwC official under CBI scanner

New Delhi: An official of a high profile consultancy group has come under CBI scanner in connection with its probe into the alleged sale of confidential government records on foreign investment policies to corporate groups by officials.

CBI Director Anil Kumar Sinha
CBI Director Anil Kumar Sinha
CBI sources said here that during the questioning of five arrested persons in the case, it has come to light that an official of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was allegedly procuring documents from the Department of Economic Affairs, under the Finance Ministry, through Khemchand Gandhi, Chartered Accountant, arrested by the agency two days back in Mumbai.

These confidential documents related to foreign direct investment policies being considered in the government, the sources said.

The agency sources said they would be probing the role of the consultancy group in detail to gather corroborative evidence and decipher the official-middleman-corporate nexus in getting hands on the confidential documents.

PwC did not respond to PTI query seeking the company’s reaction to the development.

CBI has so far arrested five persons including an Under Secretary in the Department of Disinvestment and Grievances Ashok Kumar Singh, Assistant in FIPB section Ram Niwas, Section Officer in the Department of Economic Affairs Lala Ram Sharma, Mumbai based Chartered Accountant Khemchand Gandhi and Paresh, partner Chitale Law firm also based in Mumbai.

It is alleged that the government servants were passing on documents related to foreign investment policies, which were being floated in the ministries, to Gandhi, who in turn passed them on to big corporates for a price.

The sources said so far the probe has indicated that “first and second” levels of decision making in the Ministries of Finance and Commerce relating to foreign investments were allegedly “compromised”.