In Madhya Pradesh Sex Scandal, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Over 1,000 Clips

Over the years, the gang allegedly made over 1,000 video clips to extort money from the rich and powerful.

The "honey-trap" plan was caught by police officers in Bhopal on Wednesday night.

Highlights

  • Dozen top bureaucrats, 8 former Madhya Pradesh ministers being probed
  • Scandal involved 5 women who used sex workers and young college girls
  • Operation was aimed at bagging lucrative government contracts from VIPs
Bhopal: A dozen top bureaucrats and eight former ministers of Madhya Pradesh are being investigated in a high profile extortion racket in which over 1,000 clips of sex chats, explicit videos and audios have been found from computers and mobile phones. What is making headlines as the "honey-trap" scandal targeted mainly politicians and bureaucrats and involved five women who used sex workers and young college girls, the police say. More than 200 mobile phone contacts uncovered in raids suggest the scam may not have been limited to Madhya Pradesh.

Here are the top 10 developments in this big story:

  1. "More than 10 senior officers are being investigated for quid pro quo benefits to the accused," said Sanjeev Shami, who is heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiring into the scandal. The politicians caught on camera were allegedly from both the BJP and Congress.

  2. The five women were arrested on Wednesday. The police named them as Shweta Jain, 39, her 48-year-old namesake, Barkha Soni, 35, Arti Dayal, 34, and an 18-year-old college student. Arti Dayal's driver was also arrested. Barkha Soni is the wife of former Congress IT cell official Amit Soni. 

  3. Shweta Jain, who runs a local NGO and rents the house of a BJP MLA, Brijendra Pratap Singh, allegedly ran the operation. Sources say in addition to her links to politicians in the state, she was close to an influential political leader in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. She is believed to have met this leader through an ex-Madhya Pradesh minister.

  4. In her interrogation, Shweta Jain has allegedly said at least two dozen college students, mostly from lower middle class families, were used to seduce top officials and politicians. She has reportedly admitted that she lured many college girls with the promise of jobs and by flaunting a luxurious lifestyle featuring Audi cars and five-star hotel rooms. 

  5. She allegedly told investigators that the operation was mainly aimed at bagging lucrative government contracts running into several hundred crores from VIPs. Most of the contracts were awarded to reputed companies by Shweta Jain and Arti Dayal in exchange for a commission. Shweta Jain allegedly also managing postings of several IAS and IPS officers.

  6. Over the years, the gang allegedly made over 1,000 video clips to extort money from the rich and powerful.

  7. Police have seized laptops, mobile phones, documents and video evidence from the house of Shweta Jain.

  8. Each woman allegedly ran her own gang.  It could turn out to be the biggest ever 'quid pro quo sex scandal' in the country, police officers say.

  9. One of the gang's recent targets was a top IAS officer who was asked to pay Rs. 2 crore for a damning video.

  10. The gang was caught after an Indore Municipal Corporation officer filed a complaint against Arti Dayal accusing her of demanding Rs. 3 crore from him. When Dayal travelled to Indore to allegedly receive Rs. 50 lakh as the first installment of the extortion sum, she was arrested, the police said. The others were arrested based on her interrogation.



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