NEW DELHI: India’s Bharti Airtel has filed a police complaint against a former employee, accusing the employee of stealing confidential data from the operator to help soon-to-be rival operator Reliance Jio Infocomm.
The country’s biggest mobile operator has filed a police complaint saying that Yasir Majid, who left its employment in April this year, had before leaving the firm downloaded and copied confidential information for the possible use of Jio.
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.
On May 26, the information security team at Airtel detected that on April 24 “at 12.27 AM, some documents/data was unauthorisedly, dishonestly and fraudulently transmitted/transferred by the accused Mr Yasir Majid, using his official computer resource (laptop)… while he was still in the employment of the company to his personal email… and he also uploaded/copied some documents”, Airtel said in its FIR.
Data that were unauthorisedly transferred included details of locations of Airtel’s base stations used to transmit airwaves and plans for future installations of such equipment, “highly confidential” financial information about the company’s BTS wise activation gross revenue details for the Jammu & Kashmir service area and a power point presentation used at the zonal business manager’s meeting on February 15.
Speaking to ET, Majid denied doing anything wrong. “I have already told Airtel twice today (Wednesday) that I did not transfer any data. I have done nothing illegal. They (Airtel) said they will again have a chat with me tomorrow (Thursday).” He added that Jio authorities hadn’t spoken to him on this matter.
Reliance Jio said it was looking into the matter. “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 said in a statement.
Sunil Mittal-owned Airtel is a pan-India GSM operator and faces a competitive threat from Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio, the telecom unit of Reliance Industries, which is set to launch commercial 4G operations around December this year. In what appears to be a prelude to a bitter battle on the ground between two telcos helmed by India’s top billionaires.