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If an employee steals or destroys or hides company property, under most legislations this is illegal under civil or public law.
Encrypting data and keeping the encryption key secret is equivalent to destroying it if the key is not released.
There is no way to decrypt the documents without knowing the password used.
Therefore you should contact your company law firm or the police as appropriate, to make the former employee give you the password or else seek damages and/or a conviction in a court of law.