The alleged tapping of phones of VVIPs by an Essar employee was done from two offices, one in New Delhi, the other in Mumbai, according to the complaint to the PMO from lawyer Suren Uppal.
Uppal has with him handwritten logs of calls, time and date, and handwritten diaries of what key recordings contained, all, he says, prepared by Albasit Khan and his team. These manuals have been accessed by The Indian Express.
The complaint mentions 24 snapshots of some of these purported conversations and divides these into several categories depending on the subject of the conversation or the intended target of interception:
*** Tapping of senior bank officials to get information that would help in re-structuring the group’s companies.
*** Purported conversations of Mukesh and Anil Ambani with Directors/Promoters of the two companies and other senior officials.
*** Claims of conversations that show how business rivals reach out to politicians to seek favours.
*** Claims of payoffs and bribes made to official functionaries.
*** Specific acts of “espionage by interception” of phones of individuals in the highest echelons of the government.
*** Conversations that purportedly involve Directors and senior officials of the Essar Group itself and which show their political linkages.
*** Purported conversations of senior officials of the PMO including Ranjan Bhattacharya and Brajesh Mishra.
*** Purported conversations of several officials across ministries, including Rajiv Mehrishi, who is the present Home
Secretary and Ajoy Mehta, Municipal Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
The Indian Express cannot authenticate these conversations which Uppal claims are only the “tip of the iceberg” and that there were “far more incriminating conversations that expose invariably all aspects of corruption in the business milieu, Governance, policy making and judicial pronouncements that have marred our national pride and progress.”
When the alleged tapping began, Khan said, according to the notice, he and six members of his team were provided with a range of equipment that included dozens of cell phones, dictaphones, voice recorders, cassettes, cassette recorders, computers and CD writing equipment.
The notice detailed the alleged modus operandi: the target numbers to be tapped were encrypted onto pre-paid SIMs via Essar servers. The conversations were copied, initially, on cassettes and later on CDs. Each handwritten sheet also has the number of the cassette in which the purported conversation is stored.