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Love, sex aur data: How Pakistan’s Rs 3,500 crore worth honey trap module operates in India

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Last month the agencies reported that as Pakistan's Project Lioness, 300 girls have been recruited to spy in India. They have been specially trained to trap officials and elicit critical information.

New Delhi, Jun 06: The past couple of months have witnessed a surge in the number of honey trap cases in India. Honey trap is one of the oldest form of espionage in which women are used to lure a target in a bid to elicit information out of him.

Love, sex aur data: How Pakistan’s Rs 3,500 crore worth honey trap module operates in India

The usual targets of honey trap are government officials, army personnel and anyone dealing with sensitive information. Wikipedia says that Honey Trapping is an investigative practice involving the use of romantic or sexual relationships for interpersonal, political or monetary purpose.

Last month the agencies reported that as Pakistan's Project Lioness, 300 girls have been recruited to spy in India. They have been specially trained to trap officials and elicit critical information.

In May, the agencies had busted one honey trap module which used the Facebook handle fb.com/shaanti.patel.89737. Through this handle, the spies managed to gain access to restricted data of computer resources.

An Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia that such cases keep cropping up and have become a headache. The officials handling critical assets have been time and again sensitised, but there is always that one weak moment that leads to the enemy getting the better of us.

An assessment conducted by the Intelligence Bureau says that honey trapping continues to remain one of the key concerns for the security agencies. The assessment also says that it was in the year 2015 that Pakistan's ISI decided to go all guns blazing and honey trap officials in India

The ISI's module is being operated out of Faridkot. The importance that the ISI gives to the Faridkot module is evident from the fact that the cash strapped country has earmarked Rs 3,500 crore for this project.

It is a combination of both sex and cash says another official. Investigations into various cases of honey trapping in India have revealed that there are two kinds of cases. In one case the official is blackmailed into sharing information. The trap is set by the lady who shares provocative images. The official who gets lured due to the dirty talk online is then blackmailed into giving information.

The second type is with the lure of cash. The ISI agents are ready to pay anything between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for information. The amount is decided depending on the kind of information that is shared. The amounts also dependant on the rank of the officer. The higher the rank, the more the money.

Recently the Intelligence Bureau had told the Union Ministry that in 2017 a fresh push was made by the ISI to trap as many young recruits of the Indian Army. The traps had been set on those who had joined or were in the process of joining the Army.

The ISI has been looking to trap as many as 200 such young recruits and recent investigations showed that the Pakistan agents were already in touch with over 50 of them. When the police had arrested Gaurav Kumar, a resident of Rohtak, they found that he was asked to click pictures, each time he visited the Army training camp. He had plans of joining the Indian Army and was training for the same.

He had already been trapped before he could join the forces. It was found that he had visited 18 Army recruitment camps from where he is alleged to have shared a lot of information.

Not only do the operations run from Faridkot, but the ISI has also managed to set up dedicated modules within India to honey trap officials. There are modules in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which exclusively report to the Faridkot.

The ISI agents first create a fake profile on the social media and then begin chatting. Once they find that the target is vulnerable, they lead him to the Hookup chat site. Over here the information is shared. The biggest problem that investigators face is that once a person logs out of Hookup, the chats are automatically deleted.

The official cited above said that the problem is likely to get worse and the challenge ahead is immense.

However he also points out that thanks to the vigilance that is being maintained the ISI may have not been able to achieve the success that they would have been expecting.

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