It would seem that a nice, respectable sting operation isn't so easy any more. There are audio and video recording traps; a reverse sting always lies in wait, as two senior executives from Zee found out to their dismay.
In such dark and dangerous times, safety is the need of the hour. Every aspiring stinger will need to be assured that he/she will not end up in jail for offering huge sums of money to supposedly corrupt people. Fortunately, there is no need to panic. The in.com guide to the Universe will tell you just how to run a safe sting operation.
1. Don't mention numbers first: You must never be responsible for introducing bribe amounts into the conversation. Just talk vaguely of a 'large reward'; be as wary of talking numbers as RGV is, when asked about the viewership of a film he's directed. This way, they won’t be able to pin anything on you, even if they have a video recording. Of course, if your subject asks bluntly how much you’re going to pay, you're safe, and can start dangling crores in front of his eyes.
2. Play dumb: If possible, convince the person you're stinging that you have a rare speech impediment, that prevents you from speaking too much (you're from MMS' extended family).
"Sorry, but what was that again?" (Photo: Getty Images)
Therefore, you will only be able to communicate through a series of messages written on a slate on the table. All the hidden cameras in sting (and reverse sting) operations are usually positioned under the table, so they won’t be able to catch what you're writing. And there won't be any proof to convict you on!
3. Change the meeting venue: At the last minute, tell the person you're meeting that their office has the wrong vaastu vibe, and you must insist that you shift to any other meeting room.
"But this potted plant is not left of centre enough for me to continue our meeting here!" (Photo: Getty Images)
If they agree immediately and come with you, they aren't recording anything. If they ask for 5 minutes while the new room is prepared for the meeting, you smell a rat, and spend the whole meeting talking about your favourite Bigg Boss storyline.
4. Invest in loud music: In a sting operation video, the first thing you notice (after the terrible video quality) is the terrible audio quality. You find yourself thinking that even the slightest disturbance in the room would render the words unintelligible.
When in doubt, drown 'em out. (Photo: AFP)
So that’s exactly what you must do to ensure your safety; put a selection of Bhojpuri item numbers on your phone, and insist on playing them during the meeting (for auspiciousness). The police officers running the tape will find themselves irresistibly compelled to dance, and proof that you offered money will never be recorded.
5. Invest in movie gadgets: James Bond (even in the gadget-lite Skyfall) is never without his trusty audio/video scrambler, that knocks out every camera within miles. Even Mithunda, as far back as 1978, was able to scramble audio, though he just used the awesomeness of a snap of his fingers.
Bond: "What have you got for me, Q?" Q: "Something that's going to make your faux British accent even more unintelligible than it is now!" B: "..." Q:"What did you expect? An exploding pen?"
Real-life technology must have advanced to the level where we can do something to reverse stingers' recording equipment. Of course, it'll probably scramble our equipment, too, but a sting and reverse sting are no fun when they end in jail.
6. Buy a disguise: This one is so elementary, we wonder why no one's thought of it yet. If you're going to offer someone large sums of money as bait, it would make sense to look completely different from how you actually do.
"Your Honour, I wouldn't be caught dead in the company of this man!" (Photo: AFP)
That way, when the reverse sting specialists show up at your place of work looking for an impossibly tall man with flowing golden hair, a mole on his upper lip, and an eyepatch, you can assure them no such person has ever darkened the doors of your office.
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