In Kerala, 41 arrested for promoting child pornography
In a state crackdown on child pornography, the Kerala police cyber wing arrested 41 people, including IT professionals, on Monday and recorded 339 cases, said additional chief police officer Manoj Abraham.
It said 596 locations were raided and 392 computing devices and phones were seized in recent days. Most of those arrested were under observation for some time and in most cases there were exclusive groups in the dark web helping each other.
“Our statistics show that there has been a sharp increase in cases of child pornography during the pandemic. Lockdown has increased digital browsing and this has also increased the use of pornography, especially with children, ”he said, adding that many users often think that the use of the dark web will go unnoticed, but they are wrong.
“In many cases it seems like a disease and an addiction that require medical treatment. And in many cases there are repeat offenders too, ”said Abraham, a decorated officer who specializes in cybercrime. The cyber wing has caught many cases of online cheating and ATM fraud recently. He said the cyber wing was planning a directory of repeat offenders.
“We have zero tolerance for such crimes. We have partnered with many organizations, including Interpol and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to detect child pornographers. It is of great concern that these cases are increasing. Child safety is the responsibility of all members of society, ”he said.
Kerala police had formed a special wing (Unit Against Sexual Exploitation of Children) last January and began an offensive against criminals. He said 428 people were arrested and 525 cases registered in a year.
Most of those arrested were found to use all kinds of encrypted identifiers to upload and download such material and distribute it on social media platforms, he said. He said that most of the material seized belongs to children between the ages of 6 and 15. Officials codenamed the operation ‘P Hunt 20.2.
During the raid it was also found that some of the users format their smartphones every three days to avoid detection. The use of malware was also detected to activate the web cameras of the victims and to steal information from minors.
“In recent times, many obscene photos, videos inside the home, floors, etc. have been uploaded, clearly showing that most of the photos were taken from Kerala,” he said, adding that the abuse of children locked in their homes was quite evident in some cases. He said that in some cases the offenders were married and had children.
Viewing and sharing child pornography images, videos and literature is a crime in the country and any offense can carry a five-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of Rs 10 lakh.