The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested two persons – Neeraj Kumar Yadav and Kuljeet Singh Makan – in a case related to alleged sale/purchase of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) over Instagram and other social media platforms, officials said on 10 January.
The agency registered a case under section 14 of POCSO (prevention of children from sexual offences) Act, 2012 and u/s 67-B of Information Technology Act, 2000 on the allegations that accused Neeraj Yadav, a B.Tech, was advertising over Instagram account for sale of objectionable material including child pornographic material.
“It was further alleged that the said accused (Neeraj Yadav) had purchased large volume of data, from another accused person, stored over cloud-based websites, containing objectionable material including the child pornography material and made payment to him through PayTM for the same. Thereafter, the accused allegedly published an advertisement for sale of said material over Instagram,” said CBI Spokesperson RC Joshi.
“On receipt of payments via Paytm or Google Pay etc from the customer(s)/seekers, the accused was allegedly sharing the said objectionable material with them through Whatsapp, Telegram, Instagram and other social media platforms. It was alleged that he had gained monetary benefits and was indulging in these activities since 2019,” Joshi said.
Yadav and Makan were produced in a court in Saket and have been remanded to judicial custody till 22 January.
Earlier, Kerala Police’s operation to bust child pornography in the state has made a significant breakthrough. With a crackdown of a racket of 41 people, the state police arrested those involved in sharing and posting of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in an operation code-named ‘P-Hunt’. The arrested include information technology (IT) professionals who were held for circulating vulgar videos of minors on social media platforms.
The 27 December raids marked the third phase of Operation P-Hunt, a dedicated exercise meant to purge child pornography, and as many as 465 places were subjected to searches. ADGP Manoj Abraham, nodal officer of the Cyberdome, said 339 cases were registered and 392 devices were seized during the raids.
Of the arrested, many were IT experts and some of them are suspected to be involved in child trafficking as encrypted chats suggesting this were recovered during the raids.
The investigation team after gathering input made a simultaneous raid in 326 locations across the state. In the operation, 285 electronic devices including phones, modem, hard disks, laptops, memory card were seized.