2021.03.04 17:30

Belarus KGB uses ‘honey trap’ to recruit Lithuanians – report

BNS2021.03.04 17:30

Lithuania’s intelligence services have warned that the Belarusian KGB is using the so-called “honey trap” operations to blackmail Lithuanian citizens into working for the Minsk regime.

The Belarusian secret service attempted to recruit a 34-year-old Lithuanian database administrator working at a state company, according to a report by the Lithuanian State Security Department and military intelligence released on Thursday.

Tomas travelled to Grodno, which is accessible visa-free to Lithuanian citizens, with his friends. At a bar, he “met a lovely Belarusian girl Yelena, who treated him with exceptional attention the whole evening”, the report said.

"Under the influence of alcohol, Tomas accepted her proposal to go to her place. The morning after, a Belarusian police officer stopped Tomas on his way back to the hotel and demanded his ID and mentioned that he was under investigation for theft.”

The Lithuanian man was told by several other men who were waiting nearby that he was suspected of robbing the Belarusian woman, and showed him compromising photos taken at Yelena’s apartment.

They threatened to pass the images to Tomas’ wife, unless he tells “about his work, [...] his colleagues and hands over a copy of the database of Lithuanian residents”.

"Back in Lithuania, Tomas contacted Lithuanian intelligence, reported about the incident in Belarus and received necessary assistance," according to the report.

Blackmail and staged incidents

Because the KGB officers are unable to work in Lithuania under diplomatic cover, the operatives are most active when targeting Lithuanian citizens in Belarus, the report warned.

Officers from the Lithuanian police, the Dignitary Protection Service, the State Border Guard Service, judges, politicians, state and municipal officials, and employees of state-owned enterprises as well as journalists who regularly travel to Belarus are of interest to the KGB, according to the Lithuanian intelligence.

"Information collection on these targets is initiated as soon as they submit their visa requests," the report said.

In order to recruit Lithuanian citizens, the KGB engages in blackmail, exploits personal vulnerabilities, staged or genuine incidents, as well as administrative violations.