‘Honey trap’: Saudi religious police ‘used porn’ to lure suspects

The Committee for Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is more commonly known in Western media as Religious Police.

The Committee for Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is more commonly known in Western media as Religious Police.


Saudi Makkah newspaper has accused the Committee for Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, known in Western media as Religious Police, of using obscene photographs to lure suspected criminals online.

According to the newspaper, the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Saudi Arabia’s Asir province warned the Religious Police in its region to stop luring suspected criminals of cybercrimes by luring unsuspecting Saudis through obscene photographs. They also warned the Religious Police to “strictly stick with criminal procedure regulations laid out by the law.”

Asir’s Investigations Bureau were told by suspects arrested that the conversations they had online were not initiated by them but through strangers they met online on the other end.

They also said they were sent obscene images by strangers who insisted on meeting them in person. When they agreed, they were surprised to be arrested in sting operations.

They claimed it was the religious police, and not regular civilians as initially thought, who were the sources from where the obscene images were being sent.

In response to the allegations, the official spokesman for the religious police Turki al-Shalil wrote a response denying the allegation and said:

“We address all the IT and ethical criminal activities in accordance to the law and regulations as laid out by standard criminal regulations.”

In a statement released after Makkah published its report, Shalil also said the religious police deny having ever used phishing and spyware software in monitoring suspected criminals that do not comply with the law.

A lawsuit is reportedly being filed against Makkah and Marsad newspapers because of their recent reports alleging the abuse of power by the Religious Police and accusing them of publishing offensive and false news relating to Islamic clerics.


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