1000 Cr. Rupee Industrialist Steals Blackberry


Sanathan Pepe
Sep 18, 2009
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Sanjay Somany, owner of Rs 1,000-crore company, held for 'stealing' passenger's phone; businessman says it was a mistake

When an official of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) called out to industrialist Sanjay Somany at the Indira Gandhi International Airport's domestic terminal on Monday morning, reminding him of the BlackBerry he had 'forgotten' at the security counter, the businessman didn't think twice before picking up the phone. The managing director of one of India's largest glass manufacturing companies had no idea his action would land him in jail and brand him a 'thief.'

Fifty-One-year-old Somany, the owner of a Rs 1,000-crore company was arrested at the Delhi airport on Monday evening for allegedly stealing the BlackBerry phone of a fellow passenger. A case under Sections 380 (theft) and 411 (retaining or receiving stolen property) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against him. He was produced before the Dwarka court on Tuesday and was released on bail.

Caught on camera

The police said closed-circuit security cameras recorded footage of Somany picking up the BlackBerry phone at the airport.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Airport) KC Dwivedi said, "We have arrested Sanjay Somany and produced him before the court on Tuesday. He belongs to the Somany family and owns a glass manufacturing company."

According to the police, NK Puri, a passenger, lodged a police complaint on Monday that his BlackBerry phone had been stolen. Puri was flying from Delhi to Mumbai on Air India's IC 688 flight, which was scheduled to leave Delhi at 6.30 am on Monday.

"The airport authorities immediately checked the security camera visuals and found a person wearing blue dungarees had picked up a similar phone at the airport while his security check was on. The authorities found out the man boarded a Delhi-Chennai flight at 6.05 am. Co-passengers and the air hostess also confirmed his presence on the aircraft. He was later identified as Sanjay Somany," said a police officer posted at the airport, wishing anonymity.

Cops said on Monday evening, when airport authorities were investigating the incident further, an unidentified passenger called them up and informed Somany was sitting next to him at the Chennai airport and was going to board Air India's IC 539 Chennai-Delhi flight.

The Delhi airport authorities immediately contacted their counterparts in Chennai. When one of the security personnel in Chennai approached Somany and asked for his identity, he became suspicious. However, Somany took the flight and landed in Delhi, where he was arrested.

'A mistake'

Cops said during interrogation, Somany revealed he had picked up the phone by mistake and became aware of his slip-up later.

"Somany said he was not aware the phone was in his pocket. It did not even ring. However, while returning to Delhi from Chennai, he realised he had picked up somebody's phone. His became suspicious when he was
questioned at the Chennai airport by a security man," said a police official involved in the investigation.

It was out of fear of being caught that Somany hid the phone in the aircraft as it flew towards Delhi.

"In the aircraft, Somany hid the phone in the toilet. When the flight landed at Delhi airport at around 9 pm, he was detained at the airport by the CISF. The phone was found in the aircraft," the official said.

Allegedly, Somany said he had not 'stolen' the phone. "Somany said while he was being frisked by security men at the Delhi airport, a CISF official pointed out to him that he had left his phone behind. Somany said he hurried back to the security counter and picked up the phone, without realising it belonged to someone else," said the cop.

Who is Sanjay Somany?
Sanjay Somany is the managing director of Hindustan National Glass and Industries Limited (HNGIL), one of the largest glass manufacturing companies in the country. He is a Commerce graduate and has a diploma in Diesel Engineering. He is the former president of All-India Glass Manufacturers' Federation.

The company
HNGIL is the largest and most prolific producer of glass containers in India. In the 5 ml- 3200 ml segment, the group is the undisputed market leader, catering to around 70 per cent of the domestic market covering industry majors like Coca-Cola, Dabur, GlaxoWellcome, Nestle, Pepsi, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd, Smith Kline Beecham, UB Group etc.

The group planned an investment of Rs 3,000 million in the next three years. HNGIL's un-audited turnover (as on March 31, 2008) stands at more than Rs 1,100 crore, as per the company website.

Why did top industrialist \'steal\' a BlackBerry?



Regular Member
Jul 11, 2009
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IMO he seems to be saying the truth. He might have not realized it. Maybe abscent minded.


May 4, 2009
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There is more to it than meets the eye. If Mr.Somany had picked it up by mistake why did he hide it in the toilet.

It seems Mr.Butter Finger Somany had some other ideas-- did the phone belong to the gentleman from a rival firm?


DFI Technocrat
Oct 10, 2009
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There is more to it than meets the eye. If Mr.Somany had picked it up by mistake why did he hide it in the toilet.

It seems Mr.Butter Finger Somany had some other ideas-- did the phone belong to the gentleman from a rival firm?
There are far better and far more discreet ways of conducting industrial espionage!
I guess the man just panicked and hid the phone in a moment of sheer mental confusion.

That having said it is highly probable that Mr Somany might not have realized the phone was not his at Delhi, however he should have contacted the authorities of his own volition and returned the phone as soon as he realized the phone was not his!

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