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A former Tag Oil employee is being investigated for allegedly taking trade secrets, police confirm.
Head of New Plymouth's CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward says a complaint was made by Tag Oil more than a month ago about a former employee now working for New Zealand Energy Corporation.
He says the allegation involves taking, obtaining or copying trade secrets under section 230 of the Crimes Amendment Act 2003, which carries a possible prison term of up to five years.
"The investigation is under way and I imagine it will be a lengthy inquiry."
The rival companies are listed in Canada and work in Taranaki's fiercely-competitive oil and gas industry.
The man's lawyer, Susan Hughes QC, told NBR ONLINE her client strenuously denies any wrongdoing and is confident his good name will be maintained.