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Crackdown Against Child Porn: How Kerala Police Raided Over 400 Places And Arrested 14 Child Porn Addicts

NEW DELHI: Kerala Police searched 448 locations and arrested 14 persons in a huge crackdown on child pornography on Sunday. Arrested individuals include youngsters who work in well-paying jobs, and the majority of them are IT literate.

According to Kerala police, as part of the tenth Special CCSE (Countering Child Sexual Exploitation) programme, 448 such locations were discovered around the state, and a covert operation – P-HUNT_ 22.2 was planned to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The material was subsequently compiled and distributed to 280 teams led by District Police Chiefs, which included members of cyber cells, technological specialists, and women.

 “The raids were highly successful and as a part of the operation, the teams could seize 267 devices in 39 cases registered- which include Mobile phones, Modems, Hard Disks, Memory Cards, Laptops, Computers etc. with graphic and illegal videos and pictures of children. The distressing part of the same is that many of the videos/pictures appear to be of local children, ranging in age group of 5 years to 16 years,” ADGP and Nodal Officer of Cyberdome Manoj Abraham said.

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Based on the recovery of the devices with the Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), 14 arrests were made. Most of the accused are tech-savvy, which is the reason why they were using all kinds of encrypted handles to upload and download the material. Some are suspected to be involved in the trafficking of children also as there are many chats to this effect in their devices.

The details of the rest of the people involved in circulating these images and videos are being further collected. Strong action will be taken against all the individuals involved in this racket, continuing our policy of zero tolerance in these matters.

The trend that can be derived from the behaviour of internet users, in Kerala, is that there has been a lot of deterrent effect due to the hyperactive work of the CCSE cell and due to the arrests and registration of cases.

IPS officer Mano Abraham said in many cases, these crimes are related to mental addictions that require treatment, and in the absence of the same, there are trends of repetition of offences or the accused coming back to the crime, more prepared, with better tools of anonymity etc. So, after every two months, we again see the trend going up and a spike in such cases against children.

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A familiar trend is found in porn groups operating over WhatsApp and Telegram and the number of such groups has increased drastically during this period. Due to the police action thru P-hunt drives, the accused now watch the video and deletes it using specialized software to evade detection.

They also have started formatting their phone every three days. The use of malware to activate the webcams of the victim and to steal information of children has also been reported in certain cases. In a few cases, we have seen online live sex sessions involving children that are available on payment over restricted links

It should be noted that as per the current law, viewing, distributing or storing of any child pornographic content is a criminal offense can result in, up to 5 years imprisonment and up to Rs 10 lakh fine.

Kerala Police CCSE (Countering Child Sexual Exploitation) Team, functioning under Cyberdome, understanding the gravity of the problem in relation to increasing online crimes against children, has for the last four years, embarked on a sustained digital analysis of the virtual trends and these problems, particularly during this Pandemic period and after identifying the culprits a special operation titled P-hunt was launched, which has been highly successful.

The technical assistance for the collection of information was led by Shri Shyam Kumar A, Operations Officer, Cyberdome and he was assisted by Renjith RU, Anoop GS, Vaisakh SS, Arunraj R and Akshay Santhosh all members of the CCSE Cyberdome Squad. The India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) also provided the technical expertise and resources, required to detect these online crimes and worked with the Team with a common objective of protecting children from abuse. Kerala Police seeks the support of the community, in this project and if any member of the public comes across any such channels or groups that spread child sex-related content, we urge you to please inform CCSE, Cyberdome or Cyber cells at the earliest, considering “Child security as the responsibility of every member of the society”.

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Shashank Shekhar
Shashank Shekhar
Editor, The420.in. I am a communication enthusiast with a voracious appetite to learn, in a journalistic career spanning almost 14 years, I have worked for several leading publications and online platforms.

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