Documents Stolen, Hard Disk Left Behind in Rafale Break-in: Report

The exact nature of the missing documents is yet to be determined, a report by The Hindu said.

2 min read
Representational image of a Rafale aircraft.

Several documents were stolen during the break-in at the Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale Project Management Team office in France – which took place on Sunday, 19 May –according to a report by The Hindu.

However, a crucial hard disk was left behind by the culprits, who accessed three rooms.

“There were documents, disks with information and a crucial hard disk. The hard disk is intact,” a defence source told The Hindu. The source also added that it is unclear if the hard disk was accessed by the culprits.

The IAF is planning to send a forensic team to France to probe if any documents were stolen or copied during the break-in, ANI reported on Sunday.

“A forensic team compromising cyber forensic experts is planned to be sent for the probe. In the initial investigations, it has emerged that no hard disk or files have been stolen," ANI reported quoting government sources.

The IAF has identified the likely information that would have been leaked from the nature of the documents taken. The exact nature of the missing documents is yet to be determined, the report said.

They may be related to supply protocols, routine communications and weapons-related details but do not include price, the report said, quoting sources.

The Indian team in France is headed by a Group Captain rank officer to oversee production of the 36 Rafale aircraft and the training of Indian personnel there.

A case has been registered by the local police and the investigation is underway. At least two other break-ins were reported on the premises, but it is not yet known if they are related. The Hindu, quoting a third source said, the crime was very well planned and the culprits came prepared.

The Rafale deal between India and France for 36 aircraft of Dassault Aviation has been the subject of much controversy, with the Congress-led Opposition attacking the Modi government and demanding a probe into the deal.

(With inputs from The Hindu and ANI)

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