Top British defense officials have been warned not to fall under the spells of beautiful young women while working in Russia and China, The Sunday Times reported.
Citing a leaked copy of a set of instructions issued by the British Defense Ministry on avoiding “honeytraps” — espionage operations where officials are seduced by foreign agents and then blackmailed with compromising information — the newspaper reported that Russia's Federal Security Service is known for its penchant for preying on “marital infidelity or sexual activity the target may wish to hide” to leverage information from foreign officials.
“Sexual involvement should be avoided,” the instructions reportedly warn, as should “any activity which can possibly be construed as illegal.”
The Chinese intelligence services are also said to use blackmail against foreign officials, according to the report, which says they have a “voracious appetite” for political, military, commercial, scientific and technological information from foreigners.
The warning comes at a time of heightened diplomatic tensions, as the ongoing Ukraine crisis has pitted Russia against the West and prompted Moscow to form an alliance with China.
Late last year, a U.S. Air Force General Michael Carey was fired for having engaged in “inappropriate behavior” while working in Russia earlier in the year, The Associated Press reported at the time.
A military investigative report cited his “association with foreign national women” as one of the reasons for his dismissal.