Representational Image. Photo: AFP
Thiruvananthapuram: In a massive crackdown on child pornography, eight persons have been arrested from various parts of the state in simultaneous raids, which also resulted in the seizure of 212 electronic devices, Kerala police said on Monday, adding that 133 criminal cases have been registered.
The Counter Child Sexual Exploitation (CCSE) unit of the Kerala police conducted raids at 449 locations on May 21 and seized devices including mobile phones, modems, hard disks, memory cards, laptops and computers containing graphic and illegal videos and pictures of children, police said.
"Based on the recovery of the devices with the child sexual abuse material (CSAM), eight arrests were made. Among those arrested are youth working in good professional jobs, and most of them are IT savvy, which is the reason why they were using all kinds of encrypted handles to upload and download the material," police said in a release.
Police said some are suspected to be involved in the trafficking of children also, as there are many chats to this effect in their devices.
"The covert operation named P-HUNT_ 23.3 was conducted mainly targeting CSAM sellers in Kerala," police added.
It also said that P-HUNT_ 23.2 was organised in April 2023 with a special emphasis on nabbing migrant workers in Kerala during which 62 such locations were identified throughout the State and 34 devices were seized and 18 cases registered.
Over the past couple of years, more than 1,120 cases have been registered and more than 494 accused have been arrested for possession of CSAM, police said.
In February, police had arrested 12 persons from across the state and registered 142 cases, besides seizing 270 electronic devices, for allegedly viewing and sharing objectionable content related to children, as part of its crackdown on child pornography.
As per law, viewing, distributing or storing of any child pornographic content is a criminal offence and can result in up to five years of imprisonment and up to Rs 10 lakh fine.
Police sought the support of society and urged the public to report channels or groups that spread child sex-related content with the CCSE or Cyberdome or Cyber cells at the earliest.