How Kerala Police CCSE under Cyberdome is tackling crimes against children
Thiruvananthapuram, January 17: Kerala Police CCSE (Countering Child Sexual Exploitation) team, operating under Cyberdome, understanding the seriousness of the problem with increasing online crimes against children, has embarked for four years on sustained digital analysis virtual trends and these problems. , especially during this pandemic period and after identifying the culprits, a special operation called P-hunt has been launched, which has been very successful and over the past two years and the summary of the raids is as follows.
The current basic trends that can be inferred from the behavior of netizens, in Kerala, is that there has been a lot of chilling effect due to hyper active work of CCSE cell and due to arrests and recording of case. But in many cases these crimes are related to mental addictions that require treatment, and in the absence of these, there are tendencies towards repeat offenses or the accused returning to the crime, better prepared. , with better anonymity tools, etc. after every two months, we again see the upward trend and a spike in such cases against children, said Manoj Abraham IPS, Additional Director General of Police and Nodal Officer, Cyberdome.
A familiar trend can be found in porn groups operating on WhatsApp and Telegram and the number of such groups has increased dramatically over this period. Due to police action via P-hunting drives, the accused now watches the video and deletes it using specialized software to evade detection. They also started formatting their phone every three days. The use of malware to activate the victim’s webcams and steal information about children has also been reported in some cases. In a few cases we have seen live sex sessions involving children which are available for payment through restricted links
As part of the CCSE Cell’s tenth special training titled P-Hunt 2022.1, approximately 410 such locations were identified statewide and a covert operation named P-HUNT_21.2 was planned to bring the culprits to book. The information was then collated and passed on to 280 teams reporting to district police chiefs, made up of members of cyber cells, technical experts and a women’s component.
Under the operational supervision of the district PSs, simultaneous raids were carried out throughout the state, on Sunday, January 16, 2022, from early morning.
The raids were very successful and as part of the operation the teams were able to seize 186 devices in 161 registered cases – which include cell phones, modems, hard drives, memory cards, laptops, computers , etc with graphic and illegal videos and photos of children. . The distressing part of the same is that many of the videos/images appear to be of local children, ranging in age from 5 to 16.
Based on the recovery of the devices with the CSAM material, 10 arrests were made including young people working in good professional jobs and most of them are computer savvy which is why they were using all kinds of handles encrypted to upload and download. equipment. Some are also suspected of being involved in child trafficking as there are many chats for this purpose in their devices.
Details of others involved in the dissemination of these images and videos are being collected. Vigorous measures will be taken against all those involved in this racket, continuing our policy of zero tolerance in this matter. Technical assistance for information gathering was led by Shri Shyam Kumar A, Operations Officer, Cyberdome and he was assisted by Renjith RU, Anoop GS, Vaisakh SS, Arunraj R and Akshay Santhoshall members of CCSE Cyberdome Squad. The Indian Child Protection Fund (ICPF) also provided the technical expertise and resources needed to detect these online crimes and worked with the team with a common goal of protecting children from abuse.
It should be noted that according to the applicable law, viewing, distributing or storing any child pornography material is a criminal offense which can result in up to 5 years imprisonment and up to Rs 10 lakh fine. Kerala Police is seeking support from the community, in this project and if any member of the public comes across any such channels or groups that carry child sex related content, you are urged to notify Hi Tech Crime Inquiry Cell, Cyberdome or Cyber cells at the earliest, considering “Child safety as the responsibility of every member of society”.
Article first published: Monday, January 17, 2022, 9:37 a.m. [IST]