MES employee held in honey trap caseUpdated: Sep 18, 2020, 00:10 IST
An employee of the Military Engineering Services (MES), Jaipur, was arrested from Rewari for allegedly spying and passing on sensitive information to a Pakistan operative on Wednesday.
The Special Task Force (STF) Haryana and military intelligence conducted the joint operation after receiving inputs that the suspect had been “honey-trapped” on social media. Honey trap refers to enticing a person into divulging sensitive information.
The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Mahesh Kumar from Rewari was employed as a ‘multi tasking staff’ (MTS) and his duties included cleaning and carrying the office post.
Police officers familiar with the investigation said that Kumar had established contact with the woman over Facebook in 2018 who allegedly introduced herself as a government employee in the Indian state of Punjab. Investigators claim this woman was an operative of the Pakistani intelligence.
“The two had been regularly in touch over texts, chats and audio/video calls. He had also received two payments of ₹5000 each from the handler’s local intermediary in the past year. In preliminary probe, he confessed to be in touch with the woman over WhatsApp,” said a senior STF official, requesting anonymity.
In June, the military intelligence based in Lucknow received inputs that information was being passed from a mobile number in Jaipur to an operative in Pakistan. Over the next couple of months, an investigation revealed that he was staying in Dharuhera, Rewari. These inputs were shared with STF Haryana and a joint team was formed for the raid.
Officials said that Kumar had access to certain files and routine documents, whose copies he may have shared with the intelligence operative over WhatsApp. Police said he was booked under Official Secrets Act and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code in Dharuhera. His phone has been sent for forensic examination.
“Our probe has revealed that the woman had asked him for details of serving Army personnel in Jaipur. He had passed on information related to some senior officers, posting orders of civilian MES staffers, pictures of documents meant to be posted and a diagram of a field formation,” said the official cited above.
B Satheesh Balan, Deputy Inspector General, STF, Haryana, said, “Kumar was arrested for passing classified information to a Pakistan-based intelligence operative, whom he claimed to have befriended on social media two years ago. After the initial lead from Lucknow, we worked on the case and it was a joint operation. As per initial questioning, he was in contact with one woman, who was using two WhatsApp numbers. We have handed him over to the local police for further questioning.”