The honey-trap headache: The four exclusive modules in India that report to the ISI
New Delhi, Jan 01: A hawala operative and seven India Navy soldiers were recently arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information regarding the Navy to some persons in Pakistan.
The operation called Dolphin's Nose helped the security officials crack this racket, following which several measures were taken by the Indian Navy.
The Navy banned the use of social media and smartphones at the naval bases, dockyards and onboard warships. An Indian Navy officer confirmed that even WhatsApp and other messaging platforms will not be allowed at the naval bases and ships.
While the extent of information that has been leaked is being ascertained, the larger problem that one has to look into here is with regard to honey trapping by Pakistan.
Pakistan has for long adopted this method called honey trapping to elicit sensitive information from the Indian Armed Forces. Several persons have fallen trap to this and in the bargain leaked sensitive information.
Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that this will continue to be a big problem in future as well. There are a set of very stringent guidelines that have to be set in order to prevent this menace. While it clearly emanates from Pakistan and is staged by the ISI, there is also a need to probe the internal links here.
It is a widespread racket involving several local persons. In the recent operation, a hawala operator from Mumbai was also arrested. It becomes clear that he was aware of this plan and he was used to allegedly move around the money.
Incidents of honey trapping have been on the rise. Pakistan keeps looking for sensitive information from the Indian Army. Recently a lady who called herself as Anika Chopra posed as an Army Captain at the Military Nursing Corps managed to trap several jawans.
One jawan posted with an armoured unit was taken into custody at Jaisalmer on the charge that he had shared location details and the Army exercises with the lady.
With an estimated budget of Rs 3,500 crore, the honey trapping unit of the ISI is being run from Faridkot. Once the trap is set, information is elicited either by luring through cash or blackmail. For sensitive information, the ISI is ready to even pay anything between Rs 5 and 10 lakh.
The investigations and intelligence suggest that the ISI at any given time would have on its radar at least 200 persons of different ranks. Not all fall trap, but it still poses a huge risk if a few do. In the Anika Chopra case, it was found that she had on her radar 50 jawans.
In another incident reported at Rohtak, it was found that a person training to join the Army too had been trapped. Gaurav Kumar was trapped and asked to click pictures of the training camp every time he visited the centre. Investigations found that he had visited 18 Army Recruitment Centres and shared images.
The IB officer said that it is necessary to first clean up the mess from within. There are modules in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. These have been set up by the ISI and there are locals working at these units. The job of the local units is to get in touch with officials and then share the information so that the trap can be set.