Bhopal: Police arrested five women who are allegedly behind the honeytrap sex racket in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in a case that has gripped the country and netted at least 12 top serving bureaucrats and eight former Ministers of Madhya Pradesh (MP).
The Indore Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Bhopal took the five female suspects, and another male suspect, late on Saturday, police said.
Indian media reported that the five women — identified as Shweta Vijay Jain, Shweta Swapnil Jain, Barkha, Aarti Dayal and Monika Yadav — were taken in two police vehicles amid tight security.
The male suspect was not immediately identified.
Strong evidence in the Madhya Pradesh honey trap scandal suggests that huge amounts, running into several crores, were pocketed by at least two of the women, who blackmailed a number of powerful bureaucrats and politicians in the state.
Jain also admitted that the main objective of the honey trap was to procure lucrative government contracts, running into several hundred millions, from the targeted VIPs.
Most of the contracts were awarded to reputed companies owned by Shweta Jain and her aide Aarti Dayal on commission basis.
Besides, procuring contracts, Shweta was also managing postings of several IAS and IPS officers at top-of-the line assignments.
During interrogation by Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Indore, Shweta said that on demand of bureaucrats she lured many college girls and finally coerced them to bed with men, mostly of their father’s age.
Police said the suspects will be interrogated in Bhopal, Sagar, Chhindwara and Chhattarpur. If the SIT manages to get sufficient evidence, they can also be taken to Delhi.
The SIT team took the electronic gadgets, laptops and a pendrive obtained from the accused.
On Friday, accused Shweta Vijay Jain, Shweta Swapnil Jain and Barkha were sent to police remand till September 30 in relation to the case.
The other accused in the case, Dayal and Yadav were also sent to police remand till October 1.
The incident came to light after an Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) engineer filed a complaint alleging that two women were blackmailing him by threatening to make some objectionable videos viral.
The engineer was later suspended from the service by the IMC.
It was reported that Shweta Jain, the lynchpin of the honeytrap racket, floated two private limited companies in a short span of six months, this year, to run a corporate-style business out of the money extorted from bureaucrats, ministers and members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) as well as journalists.