WhatsApp Porn

The Central Bureau of Investigation has busted a child pornography ring that distributed its content via WhatsApp. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — The Central Bureau of Investigation Feb. 22 registered a case and booked five people on charges of uploading and circulating child pornography through a WhatsApp group with 119 members, both in India and abroad.

The CBI busted the racket – involved in what they called a "global crime" – based on various intelligence inputs.

The group – KidsXXX – included members from foreign countries like the United States, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico and New Zealand, as well as India.

The administrators of the WhatsApp group were identified as Nikhil Verma, Satyendra Omprakash Chauhan, Nafees Raja, Zahid and Adarsh. A case has been filed against them under Section 67-B of the Information Technology Act and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said two of the accused – Raja and Zahid – are from Delhi, while Verma and Adarsh are residents of Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj and Noida, respectively. The fifth accused, Chauhan, hails from Kandivali in Mumbai.

He further said that 20-year-old unemployed B. Com graduate Verma, whose father works at a jewelry shop, has been arrested in his hometown in Kannauj and will be brought to Delhi for further questioning.

According to the official, the WhatsApp child pornography group had been active for about two years.

After busting the racket with the help of field intelligence and by monitoring the accused’s mobile locations and computer IP addresses, the central agency is now planning to write to authorities in the foreign countries concerned, where there are more members of the WhatsApp group.

The minor victims in the videos and photos are, however, yet to be identified, the CBI spokesperson said.

The agency Feb. 20 also searched the premises of the group's administrators in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and recovered computers, hard disks, phones, and incriminating videos and photos of children being sexually abused.

The CBI official said they are investigating all angles in this case, including a well-organized racket that shoots videos of children being sexual abused and sells them in the virtual world.

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