CHENNAI: CBI sleuths on Saturday conducted nation-wide searches, including in Chennai and two other places in Tamil Nadu, in cases related to download/ circulation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
The operation, dubbed Megh Chakra was conducted at 59 locations in 21 states/ union territories across the country, an official release stated.
In Tamil Nadu, searches were held in Dindigul and Cuddalore apart from Chennai. Operation Chakra is one of the CBI-led global operations in recent times for rapid response to online child sexual exploitation cases with international linkages and organized cyber enabled financial crimes with victims, accused, suspects, conspirators located across international jurisdictions, requiring a globally coordinated law enforcement response.
The central agency has registered two cases under relevant provisions of IT Act based on an information received from Crime Against Children (CAC), unit of INTERPOL, Singapore which had received the information from New Zealand police.
According to the information, a number of Indian citizens were involved in circulation/downloading/transmission of child pornography using cloud-based storage. After analysing the information, CBI located the suspects to disrupt further distribution of child porn.
Saturday’s crackdown is a follow up of another massive operation (operation carbon) carried out by the central agency last year.
“During searches electronic devices, including mobiles, laptops, belonging to more than 50 suspects were recovered. Preliminary scrutiny of these electronic devices using cyber forensic tools has allegedly revealed the presence of huge quantity of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) in a number of electronic devices,” stated an official release.
The suspects are being questioned with regard to the child pornographic material found in their electronic devices to identify the child victims and the abusers. Further investigations are on.