Bharti Airtel Files FIR Against Ex-Employee, Alleges Confidential Information Stolen To Benefit Reliance Jio

25/06/2015 10:17 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY OTTO BAKANO The logo of giant mobile- telecommunications service provider 'Airtel' is branded on a shop window on May 20, 2011 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. India will seek to expand its economic footprint in Africa, where its rival China has made major inroads, at the second India-Africa summit next week in Addis Ababa. India's Bharti Airtel -- the world's fifth largest mobile phone company -- acquired the 16-African country unit of Kuwaiti telecom firm, Zain at a cost of $10.7 billion in 2010 when India's imports from Africa were worth $20.7 billion and its exports stood at $10.3 the same year even though China's trade with Africa remains far heftier. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

India's biggest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, has filed a police complaint against an ex-employee accusing him of stealing confidential and sensitive information and possibly passing them on to Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is about to launch 4G services in December.

Yasir Majid currently works for Reliance Infocomm, the telecom unit of Reliance Industries Ltd., owned by Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man. Majid left his Airtel job in April after spending about 10 years with the company in Jammu and Kashmir.

"(Yasir Majid) after having been relieved from the services of the company (Airtel), took up employment with M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. It thus became evident that the said Mr Yasir Majid downloaded, copied and extracted the aforementioned confidential financial data/information of the company for his own use and the use thereof by his current employer M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., who is a business competitor of the company," said the Economic Times report, quoting the FIR filed by Airtel.

The FIR was filed in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Airtel, owned by billionaire Sunil Mittal, is further quoted as saying that the stolen information is commercially sensitive, and very valuable to a business competitor.

Airtel is rolling out its 4G services gradually, and will face its biggest competitor in the form of Reliance Jio, which will launch 4G services that are slated to be much cheaper than current mobile broadband rates, and will have nationwide coverage. Ambani has said that the services will start in December 2015.

READ: Reliance Jio 4G Services To Start In December, To Cost Rs 300-500 Per Month

The FIR alleges that Majid had transferred confidential information — regarding locations of Airtel's base stations that are used to transmit airwaves, confidential revenue details of Jammu & Kashmir operations — to his email account using the official laptop. The incident was discovered by Airtel on May 26.

"As a responsible corporate, Reliance Jio lays the greatest emphasis on ethical conduct by all its employees. It is an integral part of our Corporate Value System. We will inquire into this matter," a spokesperson for Reliance Jio Infocomm was quoted as saying in the report.

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