On Friday, February 24, the Odisha police arrested a senior technical officer at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Chandipur. The senior official was allegedly sharing confidential defence information with Pakistani ISI agents in lieu of sexual favours and monetary benefits.
The Balasore police in Odisha arrested the accused officer based on a complaint filed against him at Chandipur police station. He has been booked under Sections 120-A, 120-B and 31 of the IPC, and Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act. He has been identified as Baburam Dey (57).
The accused was usually present at his assigned duties in ITR, Chandipur, throughout the testing of practically all DRDO and other defence agencies’ missiles and cluster bombs.
According to the police, the officer was honey-trapped by a Pakistani agent who was operating from Rawalpindi with sexual photos and videos via Whatsapp. Dey’s mobile phone has been seized by the police.
Speaking on the matter to the media, Inspector General (IG) of police (eastern range) Himashu Lal said, “A senior official of the ITR has been apprehended for leaking sensitive information to some foreign agents working in Pakistan in lieu of nude videos.”
“The mobile phone of the officer has been seized and further investigation into the matter is on to find out if any other persons are involved. A similar honey trap case was also registered in 2021. We have traced the location of the queen bee and it is Rawalpindi,” Lal said.
Like the 2021 case, the ITR official was allegedly honey-trapped by some female operatives from Pakistan. They were sending some videos to the official through WhatsApp and in lieu of that, he (the ITR official) had shared sensitive defence information with them, added Lal.
Meanwhile, Balasore SP Sagarika Nath stated that the local police, in collaboration with a central agency, were continuing their probe into the 2021 case involving the leakage of classified material to Pakistan.
“Recently, we came to know that some sensitive information in the form of visual images as well as sensitive communication had been transmitted to Pakistani agents. Following interrogation, we have apprehended the ITR official,” she said.
Notably, on September 14, 2021, the Odisha police arrested five contractual employees of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) unit in Chandipur on suspicion of sharing classified defence information with unknown ISI agents from Pakistan.
Several cases of honey trapping have emerged in recent times
Last year a contractual employee of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad has been arrested for passing confidential defence information on India’s missile development to an alleged ISI operative in Pakistan through social media.
On September 13, 2021, an investigation team of CIA-3 Ludhiana and Counter-Intelligence Ludhiana arrested one Jaswinder Singh over alleged links with a Pakistani spy who identified herself to him as Jasleen Brar from Bathinda. As per Paramjit Singh, Ludhiana Police Commissioner, Jaswinder has been accused of providing access to Indian defence personnel to the spy.
In June 2021, Delhi Police arrested a 40-year-old man for impersonating an Indian Army Officer. He revealed during interrogation that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) was trying to honey-trap him as they considered him to be a real officer.
In fact, in the wake of the sensational arrest of the BrahMos engineer in the year 2018 for allegedly spying for Pakistan, the Intelligence Bureau issued a high alert against the hostile neighbour’s ‘honeytrap’ strategy, which is prevalent in India. The alert stated that Pakistan’s ISI has been utilizing good-looking Chinese and Pakistani girls to lure and set the trap on high-ranking officials and those involved in dealing with sensitive information.