SPOOF SPOOK

Fake “spy chief” gave recruits sex tests

Victims were asked to provide money and sexual favors to secure fictitious jobs as secret agents

A police officer from Xàtiva in Valencia has been arrested for trying to procure women for his fake spy ring, offering to recruit them if they passed various "tests," including those involving sexual favors and the handing over of money and jewelry.

F. H. P., a 56-year old Spanish police officer, was arrested by the Civil Guard after passing himself off as the colonel of a secret organization, luring potential recruits with promises of jobs and salaries of 1,900 euros a month.

The police operation began 10 days ago, when investigators learnt of a man pretending to be a top secret agent, but at first were unsure what his motives were.

At his home, police found three firearms and five fake guns, as well as photographs and violent videos, military insignias and uniforms, and various telecommunications devices such as electronic agendas and GPS compasses. The suspect showed these items to his victims in order to convince them that he was a spy.

The police officer would then put the would-be secret agents through a series of tests. He explained each stage of the recruitment procedure carefully. One stage involved asking them if they would be prepared to sleep with someone for their job as an intelligence operative "if they had to." He asked them if their husband or partner would be jealous if their spying involved them being with another man.

For part of the test they were told that they would have to turn over whatever gold they had, before passing to the final test - one involving sexual favors.

Singles preferred

The women were told of the need to maintain absolute secrecy at all times, and were threatened in order to ensure their silence.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of theft, fraud, making threats and attempted sexual abuse.

Also arrested was the police officer ' s girlfriend and alleged accomplice, who supposedly helped him to recruit women from among her group of friends. Those who were single or divorced were particularly targeted as potential "secret agents."

So far police have uncovered 11 crimes, all of which occurred in different parts of Valencia and Alicante. Officers expect to find more as their investigation continues.

The two suspects face a preliminary court hearing in Gandía.

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