In July 2009, the German federal police stumbled upon some pornographic material featuring children on two popular net-availed software programmes, eMule and uTorrent.
This was the same time that Lieutenant Colonel Jagmohan Balbir Singh (42) had allegedly begun uploading his collection of child pornography on the Net using the same software.
The uploading was done through an US-based server eDonkey2000.
The eDonkey network (also known as the eDonkey2000 network or eD2k) is a decentralised, mostly server-based, peer-to-peer file-sharing network best suited for sharing big files like music albums and computer programmes, and to provide long-term availability of the files.
Sources in the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell of the Mumbai crime branch, which arrested Singh on Friday, told Hindustan Times that Singh continued to upload and download child pornography until September 2009.
In December 2009, the German police traced the Internet Protocol address of the culprit personal computer to Mumbai.
They sent a request through the Interpol to nab the suspect. The Interpol forwarded the request to the Mumbai police through the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Interpol wing. The crime branch was alerted in February 2010.
Cyber crime officers traced the computer to Singh’s flat in Namdar Manzil, Colaba.
“We realised it belonged to a senior army officer and hence decided to work it out carefully,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.
The police watched Singh for more than two months.
The police got a nod from the Army before swooping down on Singh’s house on Thursday. They seized the computer and two hard disks of 80 GB memory space each.
“Those contained a lot of incriminating material,” said Roy terming Singh’s act as “perversion”.
The Esplanade metropolitan magistrate’s court on Friday remanded Singh in police custody until May 12. The police sought Singh’s custody saying they needed to probe the possible involvement of more people.
Singh, who was produced in court amid heavy media presence, said he had no complaints against the police and that he was cooperating with the investigation.
The remand application, filed by Senior Police Inspector Mukund Pawar of the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell, said the police in Germany stumbled upon a video clip of child pornography on the Internet on September 16, 2009.
The clip had visuals of an unidentified man having sex with a three-year-old girl. The faces of the accused and victim were not visible.
The police have not been able to ascertain whether the accused has other email addresses and if he had forwarded the same video or similar content to people. The police are awaiting the forensic investigation report of the seized hard disks.