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Love, Lies, and Espionage: Pakistani Spies Target Indian Scientists and Soldiers



Love, Lies, and Espionage: Pakistani Spies Target Indian Scientists and Soldiers

Thousands of Pakistani spies have been using honey-trapping techniques to gather confidential information from Indian scientists and soldiers. Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) strategically deploys women to entice Indian defence personnel into compromising intimate situations, paving the way for blackmail and intelligence extraction.

Honey Trapping: In an informal context, a “honey trap” refers to a scheme where a victim is enticed into a compromising intimate situation, creating an opportunity for blackmail. In a recent honey-trapping case that shocked India, DRDO Scientist Pradeep Kurulkar got Honey Trapped by a Pakistani Spy and revealed secrets of Indian defence to the ISI indirectly.

This leak of information contains secrets about Brahmos, Agni 6, surface-to-air missiles, anti-satellite missiles, Rustom UAV, Mentor Missile, Ak Firearms, Astra Missile among the other details.

On May 3, Maharastra’s ATS (ATS stands for Anti-Terrorism Squad) arrested Pradeep Kurulkar, the head of the Defence Research and Development Organization’s Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) laboratory, because he was accused of sharing sensitive information with a woman who was a Pakistani spy later identified as Zara Dasgupta.

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How did the web of Hone Trap operate?

In June last year, it all started when Pardeep received a message from a girl in his WhatsApp account from a UK +44 number saying, “This beautiful girl from London is a great admirer of the work you’re doing for India,” and this message was from Zara Dasgupta, who was a London-based NRI.

After this message, constant communication between Zara and Pardeep was established. Both got close in conversation, and soon the conversation became intimate. One day, randomly, Zara told Pardeep that defence is her passion, and as Pardeep too was the defence director of DRDO, he got interested in talking about it a lot, and from that day on, Pardeep kept talking with Zara about Indian defence. Zara started to send obscene pictures and videos to Pardeep, and this has made him trust Zara a lot now. Now Pardeep started trusting Zara blindly and sharing his routines and classified visits with her, which are not allowed to be shared even with family members. Soon, Pardeep started sharing with Zara the top secrets of Indian missiles for surface defence.

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Now Pardeep asked Zara to meet in person for sharing more details about defence, as he can’t share all details online. Until December 2022, he understood that he was a victim of honey trapping, and he deleted all the chats and history with Zara as he was scared to get caught. He didn’t tell anyone about this case due to the embarrassment he might need to face. Intelligence already had this information that some UK-based numbers are in contact with DRDO, and on further investigation, they found that the IP address of those UK-based numbers is residing in Pakistan. Soon, this information was sent to DRDO and ATS. In February, an operation was held to catch the person behind it. They seized Pardeep’s phone, and upon investigation, they found that Pardeep was actively engaged in talking with a woman through WhatsApp whose number was from the UK, and he has blocked that number. Upon further investigation, they found that the Pakistani spy had sent a message to Pardeep, “Why did you Block me?”

Pardeep was arrested in May, and a chargesheet of 1800 pages was filed against him for sharing classified information with a Pakistani spy.

Pardeep Kurulkar involuntarily shared all these details. He got honey-trapped by UNIT 412, Which is an ISI-controlled Unit that traps high-level Indian officials, and as per the report, UNIT 421 has successfully honey trapped many people and managed to leak more than 7,000 Indian secrets. ISI’s Unit 412 is working under the command of a brigadier and captain-rank officer of Pakistan’s Army.


On investigation, ATS found that Pardeep had promised to meet Zara in person to share details about defence, and he also booked the DRDO Guest Hotel for one day. Following a CCTV check, ATS discovered that six women had interacted with Pardeep on that particular day, and during questioning, two of the women had already claimed that Pardeep had sexually harassed them. ATS assumed Zara might be one to meet Pardeep on that day, but it has not been clear whether Zara meets Pardeep on that day or not. ATS also did not provide many details about the case to the media. ATS also mentioned that Pardeep might involuntarily share more details as Zara asked Pardeep to download two apps for video calls, and the names of the apps were “” and”

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That was nothing more than malware used to hack and track all Pardeep files and information.

Pakistan ISI’s Secret Operation:

According to some news reports, ISI has a secret University in Rawalpindi called Espionage University in their army headquarters. According to the report, 3400 crore is the budget for the university. Following some more news, it has been stated that more than 900 women are actively working with ISI for honey trapping. These women are college students or sex workers. ISI has launched these Espionage operations in Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore, which are under UNIT 412 and controlled by Pakistani army officials.

Training for becoming a perfect spy:

Media reports claims that ISI gives training to women to change their names to Indian familiar names, and they are taught to keep makeup like Indian women. They are dressed in traditional Indian clothes. As well, the room where these video calls happened is filled with Indian god pictures so that Indian officials can easily trust them. A single woman from Unit 412 managed 50+ daily accounts.

There are two methods Pakistan’s women spy agents follow: the long-term method and the short-term method. They began making social media accounts, sending follow requests to the officials, and tracking their habits, such as what they like and what they do in their routine. Apart from this, they also get data from ISI about their phone numbers and family members details, so that when women get in contact with the officials, they already have an idea how to manage the person and what background that person belongs to.

Overall, this is a basic operation but has the highest penetration rates to leak information, and this method wasn’t a newly invested method. This was long back in the Cold War, when Russia had its spies in the UK and US doing these honey traps on the officials. The goal of this operation is to establish an intimate relationship with the target and send obscene pictures and videos to him. In return, they ask for confidential details, and if the target denies it, they blackmail them to leak these images and videos to the public. Many such cases of Honey traps have been registered in the last year, and many high-ranking authorities have been arrested. Not only women, but men also work as well as women, as in the case of Madhuri Gupta, a diplomat who found herself in a relationship with a Pakistani spy and shared information.

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Use of Malware:

ISI also uses Malware to track and hack the target. Malware is being installed on the victim’s mobile by the woman or man with whom they are in conversation, and thus malware works under the nose of the target without their knowing that all the information stored in their phone is being transferred to ISI servers. That’s how involuntary they share details with ISI.

The recent case involving the honey trapping of a DRDO Scientist highlights the urgency of countering such tactics to safeguard sensitive information. As authorities continue to investigate and address this threat, it’s crucial for individuals to be vigilant and cautious in their interactions to protect national security. In the past year, over 150 cases of honey trapping have been registered, underscoring the need for enhanced awareness and security measures.


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