New Delhi, Feb 22 The CBI on Thursday registered a case and booked five persons on charges of uploading and circulating child pornography through a Whatsapp group that had 119 members from both India and abroad.
Calling the activity a "global crime", the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) busted the racket on the basis of intelligence inputs.
The members of the group -- KidsXXX -- included members of foreign countries like the US, China, Pakistan and Brazil, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico and New Zealand, besides India.
Administrators of the Whatsapp group were identified as Nikhil Verma, Satyendra Chauhan, Nafees Raja, Zahid and Adarsh. 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).
One of the administrators, 20-year-old unemployed B.Com graduate Nikhil Verma has been arrested from his hometown Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.
The Whatsapp child pornography group had been active for about two years.
The central agency is planning to write to the investigators of the foreign countries concerned, whose members are part of the Whatsapp group.
The minor victims in the videos and photos are, however, yet to be identified, the CBI spokesperson said.
The CBI on Tuesday 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-organised racket shooting children's sexual abuse videos and selling them in the virtual world.