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UK police open investigation into honeytrap messages targeting MPs

By AFP

April 5, 2024 10:15 AM


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British police on Thursday opened an investigation following a complaint by an MP who was amongst a dozen men targeted in a honeytrap sex-messaging scandal.

Police said they had opened the inquiry after the men were allegedly targeted by seductive text messages that often included explicit photographs.

Conservative MP William Wragg admitted to The Times newspaper that he was responsible for leaking the telephone numbers of the men targeted.

The 36-year-old told The Times that he had given in to the demands made by a user of a gay dating app to whom he had sent intimate photographs.

"I was worried because he had stuff on me. I've hurt people by being weak. I was scared. I'm mortified," Wragg, who has already announced he will not stand for re-election, told The Times.

According to news website Politico, which initially revealed the scandal, the men targeted included three MPs -- including a member of the government -- two political journalists, a television presenter and employees of political parties.

The Guardian newspaper identified a 13th person, a former government advisor.

In each case, a certain "Abi" or "Charlie" contacted the target and claimed to have met him at a political event before becoming annoyed at not being remembered, insisting that the pair had flirted.

This was often followed up by sending the target an explicit photograph.

The Times said two MPs had sent back similarly intimate photographs.

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson told AFP it was "investigating a report of malicious communications after a number of unsolicited messages were sent to a Leicestershire MP last month".

"Enquiries are currently ongoing," the spokesperson added.

While some MPs have suggested a hostile foreign state could be behind the scam, experts contacted by Politico said it was more likely the work of criminals seeking compromising material.


AFP


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