Crackdown on child pornography: Kerala Police arrest 41

Kerala Police arrest 41, crack down on social media groups promoting child pornography

Close to 600 raids were conducted by the Kerala police as part of its special drive against child pornography

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As many as 41 persons were arrested in a special drive of Kerala police against child pornography.

Those arrested included youths working in professional jobs and some were also suspected to be involved in child trafficking.

A total of 339 cases were registered and 392 devices like computers and hard disks seized in the raids held on Sunday. Many pictures and videos were that of local children in the age group of six to 15, said ADGP headquarters Manoj Abraham.

The police action code named Operation P-Hunt 20.3 was carried out by the Kerala Police Countering Child Sexual Exploitation team under Cyberdome.

Abraham, who is in charge of Cyberdome, said that online crime against children was witnessing an increase during lockdown and the Interpol had also raised alerts against it.

The culprits were traced using hi-tech tools and several social media groups with more than 400 members each we're identified. Raids were conducted at 596 locations throughout the state. The highest number of places raided were in Thiruvananthapuram, 58, followed by 50 each at Malappuram and Kannur districts.

Abraham said that over the last couple of years more than 525 cases were registered and more than 428 arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material. Many accused seems to be having mental addictions that required treatment. There are trends of repetition of offences or the accused coming back to the crime, more prepared, with better tools of anonymity. Hence the police would continue to maintain vigil.

Most of the accused were IT savvy. They were using all kinds of encrypted handles to upload and download the material. Some were suspected to be involved in the trafficking of children also as there were many chats to this effect in their devices, he said.