Woman walking alone
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An escort service masquerading as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) reportedly blackmailing political leaders and bureaucrats in India has been busted by the Madhya Pradesh police.

Under the guise of running an NGO focused on farmers and rural India, the organisation hired 18 young women and allegedly sent them to spend time with members of parliament, senior government officials and rich individuals.

Using a spy camera, the acts of intimacy would be recorded by the girls. Following that, those videos would be used to blackmail the “client”, to the tune of millions of dirhams.

As per local news reports from the state, they had even driven one former member of parliament (MP) to attempt suicide, after he was thrown out of the Congress party following a video getting released.

How was the gang caught?

It all started with a municipal engineer Harbhajan Singh, who fell for an 18-year-old Monica Yadav. He was introduced to her by Aarti Dayal, the head of the entire operation, on the pretext of helping her find a job.

It led to Yadav ending up in a hotel room with Singh, and the encounter recorded. Dayal then proceeded to blackmail Singh for an amount of over Dh2 million. Furious, he approached the local police in Indore and filed a case against Dayal, alleging blackmail. They investigated and decided to set up a sting operation.

Dayal, Yadav and their driver Om Prakash was arrested when they showed up to collect the first installment of Dh 258,000 from Singh.

Following interrogation involving the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Dayal spilt the beans on her entire operation. And the four other women helping her manage the honey-trap racket were arrested, including a former member of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Shweta Vijay Jain.

The honey-trap network

As per the news website www.indiatoday.in, “…the mastermind of the racket is Shweta Swapnil Jain, who built the sex-racket in 12 districts with the help of her husband Swapnil Jain. According to reports in Dainik Bhaskar and Patrika, five of the 18 women were on good terms with the top leadership of both the BJP and Congress. They were, in fact, frequent visitors of the Madhya Pradesh Secretariat, the reports claimed.”

Meanwhile Shweta Jain was staying in a rented house owned by former Madhya Pradesh state minister and BJP MLA Brijendra Pratap Singh. The minister, however, told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that he had rented the house through an agent and did not check who the tenant really was.

What now?

The gang of five were presented in court, following which they were placed in police custody for three days. No further details on the investigation are available.