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Twelve held as Kerala police bust child pornography racket

Raids were conducted across the state after the Central Bureau of Investigation, which co-ordinates with Interpol, handed over details of the accused and the various sites catering to child porn addicts.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2019 18:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala,CBI,child Pornography
Officials have code-named the operation as P-Hunt and more raids are likely at other places.

The cyber wing of the Kerala police arrested 12 people and registered cases against 16 others on Monday for peddling pornographic material and promoting child porn sites.

Raids were conducted across the state after the Central Bureau of Investigation, which co-ordinates with Interpol, handed over details of the accused and the various sites catering to child porn addicts, the cyber wing said.

Officials code-named the operation ‘P Hunt’ and carried out searches at various places. They seized several phones, laptops, and other devices. They have identified at least 84 individuals and some of them have been kept under watch. Instant messaging groups were the platform of choice for exchanging videos featuring juveniles. Images of children captured discreetly on mobile phones while they were at water theme parks, schools, beaches and homes are increasingly finding their way to porn websites, the officials said.

“The operation is still continuing and more arrests are likely,” Additional DGP Manoj Abraham said. A majority of those arrested were engaged in the propagation of child pornography, he added. Experts have also found that the administrator of at least 37 channels working in ‘Telegram’ was a Keralite, operating under the name MLPM.

The police have sought help from cyber experts from the IT Park in Thiruvananthapuram called ‘Technopark’. The details of those arrested would be released later, since the investigation is still on.

Two years ago, another big racket was busted by the police after the arrest of an MCA graduate from Malappuram. Hundreds of photos and videos involving minor children had been seized. K Sharaf Ali (24), had collected pornographic material from social media and other sources and traded them under various names on Telegram, an instant messaging system that he considered comparatively safer for his operations.

In the investigation, it was found he had been broadcasting offensive clips to more than one lakh subscribers every day. Watching and sharing child pornographic images and videos are considered a criminal activity in the country.

First Published: Apr 01, 2019 18:51 IST

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