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‘Planted adhesives’ found in Pranab’s office

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about a ‘serious security breach’ in his office, a report claimed on Tuesday.

In the letter written on September 7 last year, Mukherjee asked the Prime Minister to order a ‘secret inquiry’ into the security breach. As per the report, ‘planted adhesives’ were found in 16 key locations inside the Ministry of Finance office in North Block, suggestive of a possible surveillance attempt.

The locations included the office chamber of the Finance Minister himself, the office of his Advisor Omita Paul, office of his Private Secretary Manoj Pant, and two conference rooms used by the Finance Minister, the newspaper report further added.

‘Planted adhesives’ were found during an electronic sweep of the Ministry’s VVIP chambers by a team of private investigators brought in by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

The adhesives were a sort of chewing gum and could have been used to fix tiny devices which were later pulled out.

The theory gains credence as no “live microphone” or recording devices were found during the electronic sweep.

The Intelligence Bureau’s suspicion is on members of the maintenance staff and the cleaning crew, however, the IB has not submitted any written report on the episode, the report further says.

Following the discovery of the adhesive, the CBDT is now conducting regular electronic sweeps of sensitive locations in the Finance Ministry.

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