The 26-year-old havildar, posted in an infantry battalion at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, was reportedly coaxed into sharing the information by a Pakistani woman whose profile claimed she was an international journalist. As they chatted back and forth “regularly” on Facebook and WhatsApp, he began supplying her with sensitive information on military maneuvers, eventually even receiving assignments regarding what information to provide and mining his network of Army contacts in order to satisfy his inquisitive pen pal.
The clerk was finally arrested on Thursday after six months’ surveillance by military intelligence, according to India Today, in a joint operation with the intelligence bureau and local Mhow police. Authorities are still investigating whether he received money in return for the information he gave up.
The Indian Army announced a nationwide crackdown on social media “honey-traps” in January, and military intelligence has been conducting spot-checks of soldiers’ phones and laptops ever since, warning them not to post any photos or share any material containing sensitive military information, according to sources cited in India Today. In this particular model of honey-trap, attractive young women “like” and comment on soldiers’ social media photos and gradually ply them for more information under the guise of flirtation and developing a “relationship.” As the dialogue moves into private messages, “intimate” videos and photos are exchanged, and the women – who invariably turn out to be ISI operatives – can then blackmail soldiers into telling everything they know.
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