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CBI raids 76 locations in the country to bust online child pornography racket, raid team attacked by locals in Odisha

Out of the 76 raids at different places, one raid in Odisha was resisted as locals including women heckled and manhandled CBI officials at Jadupati Vihar in Dhenkanal district.

In a major crackdown against online child pornography networks and child sex abuse, the Central Bureau of Investigation CBI carried raids at 76 locations across 14 states and detained 10 people yesterday (November 16). The CBI also seized a large number of electronic equipment like mobile phones, data storage devices and others.

This is the first major action of the CBI against online pedophiles and their international network.

The CBI revealed that raids were carried in Tirupati and Kanekal in Andhra Pradesh; KonchJalaun in Delhi; Mau, Chandauli, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Siddharthanagar, Moradabad, Noida, Jhansi, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh; Junagarh, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar in Gujarat; Sangrur, Malerkotla, Hoshiarpur, Patiala in Punjab; Patna and Siwan in Bihar; Yamuna Nagar, Panipat, Sirsa, Hisar in Haryana; Bhadrak, Jajapur, Dhenkanal in Odisha; Tiruvalure, Coimbatore, Namakkal, Salem, Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu; Ajmer, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur in Rajasthan; Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh; Jalgaon, Salwad, Dhule in Maharashtra; Korba in Chhattisgarh and Solan in Himachal Pradesh. 

The chief information officer of the CBI RC Joshi informed the OpIndia that on November 14, the agency had lodged 23 FIRs against 83 accused persons for allegedly circulating, storing and viewing Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) through various social media platforms and groups. They have been booked under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 67B (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit) of the IT Act. The CBI said that the CSEM racket involves 5,000 offenders from around 100 countries spread across Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe.

The CBI has said that a large number of suspects are from Pakistan, Canada, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, United States, United Kingdom, Egypt, Yaman, Ghana and Belgium. If required the agency will seek the help of law enforcement agencies of the concerned countries via Interpol, the CBI said.

So far in the preliminary investigation, the CBI has identified around 50 such online groups involved in circulating CSEM and it is coordinating with other agencies to track offenders.

While the special unit of CBI ‘Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention/ Investigation’ (OCSAE) has been entrusted with the investigation, the CBI has revealed details of accused persons. OCSAE was set up about two years back.

CBI team assaulted in Odisha during the raid

During the course of the raid, a five-member of the CBI team led by CBI inspector, Delhi, Sandeep Kumar Tiwari was even attacked and confined by the mob at Jadupati Vihar in Dhenkanal district of Odisha.

A CBI official in a blue T-Shirt is seen being manhandled by a group of women in Dhenkanal district of Odisha during the raid.

As the team visited the house of suspect Surendra Nayak and started questioning him, the mob consisting of some women and lathi-wielding youths tried to free the suspect and attacked the CBI team. The mob even tried to stop the local police from rescuing them. Later on, the CBI team detained the suspect.

The immoral trade of CSEM is worth billions

Investigation revealed that Nayak was an active member of social media sites like Desi MMS. He admitted to having created a WhatsApp group having members from different parts of the country. He said that he had joined the racket barely two months back. He was sharing pornographic content from one website to other sites and groups. He had even received a sum of 21 USD for sharing links. It has been revealed that users are also paid for spreading content.

 

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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