CBI cracks down on child pornography WhatsApp group; admin arrested

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The CBI has booked five persons on charges of uploading and circulating child pornography through a WhatsApp group that had 119 members from both India and overseas.

The CBI has registered a case against members of a WhatsApp group for allegedly uploading and circulating child pornography videos.

The CBI also arrested one of the alleged administrators of the WhatsApp group, Nikhil Verma from Uttar Pradesh.

The pornographic material was being uploaded in a group named "Kids-XXX".

The agency conducted searches across Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, and seized incriminating material from computers, hard disks and mobile phones. So the offender leaves no digital footprint once he's caught and released.

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Omar Lulu , the 33-year-old Malayalam director said: "Our whole crew was tensed with so many cases being filed on us". Following the FIR registered in Hyderabad, another complaint was filed by the Secretary of Raza Academy in Mumbai.

Some of the members of the group were traced from United States of America, China, Mexico, Afghanistan, Brazil, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Kenya and India. A case has been filed against them under Section 67-B of the Information Technology Act and the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The CBI will write to its counterparts in these countries seeking assistance to identify all the members of the group, the official said.

The CBI said it would investigate if an organised gang filmed the videos and pictures and was selling them online.

Administrators of the Whatsapp group were identified as Nikhil Verma, Satyendra Chauhan, Nafees Raja, Zahid and Adarsh. Sources said the group has been active for the past two years.

The apex court also asked the government to take steps to stop access to websites featuring child pornography.

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