CBI busts Whatsapp-based global child porn racket

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The CBI on Thursday registered a case and booked five persons on charges of uploading and circulating child pornography through a Whatsapp group that had 119 members from both India and abroad.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) busted the racket involved in what they called a "global crime" on the basis of intelligence inputs.

The group -- KidsXXX -- included members from foreign countries like the United States, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico and New Zealand, besides India.

Administrators of the Whatsapp group were identified as Nikhil Verma, Satyendra Omprakash Chauhan, Nafees Raja, Zahid and Adarsh. A case has been filed against them under Section 67-B of the Information Technology Act and the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said two of the accused -- Nafees and Zahid -- belong to Delhi while Nikhil and Adarsh are residents of Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj and Noida, respectively. The fifth accused Satyendra hails from Kandivali in Mumbai.

He further said that 20-year-old unemployed B.Com graduate Nikhil, whose father works at a jewellery shop, has been arrested from his hometown in Kannauj and that he will be brought to Delhi for further questioning.

According to the official, the Whatsapp child pornography group had been active for about two years.

After busting the racket with the help of field intelligence and monitoring of mobile locations and IP addresses of the computers being handled by the accused, the central agency is now planning to write to the investigators in foreign countries concerned, whose members are part of the Whatsapp group.

The minor victims in the videos and photos are, however, yet to be identified, the CBI spokesperson said.

The agency on Tuesday also searched the premises of the group's administrators in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and recovered computers, hard disks, phones and incriminating videos and photos of children being sexually abused.

The CBI official said they are investigating all angles in this case, including a well-organised racket shooting children's sexual abuse videos and selling them in the virtual world.



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