Pune/New Delhi, 24th September 2022: In a painstaking and meticulous operation Megh Chakra, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CB) has today conducted national wide searches at around 59 locations in 21 States/UT including Fatehabad(Haryana); Dehradun (Uttarakhand); Kachh(Gujarat); Ghaziabad(Uttar Pradesh); Mursidabad(West Bengal); Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Nanded, Solapur, Kolahpur & Nagpur (Maharashtra); Ranchi (Jharkhand); Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh); Krishna(Andhra Pradesh); Ram Nagar (Karnataka); Kolar(Karnataka); Faridabad (Haryana); Hathras(Uttar Pradesh); Bengaluru; Kodagu; Raipur (Chhattisgarh); New Delhi; Chelakkara (Kerala); Dindigul (Madurai); Gurdaspur & Hosiarpur(Punjab); Chennai; Dhanbad; Rajkot; Goa; Hyderabad; Ajmer; Jaipur; Cuddalore(Tamil Nadu); Mallapuram (Kerala); Lunavada (Gujarat); Godhra(Gujarat); Guwahati; Dhimaji(Assam); Itanagar(Arunachal Pradesh); Bardhman(West Bengal); Maharajganj(Uttar Pradesh); Saran(Bihar); Bhagalpur(Bihar); Agartala(Tripura); Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) etc in two cases related to downloading/circulation of CSAM(Child Sexual Abuse Material).
CBI has registered two cases under relevant provisions of IT Act based on an information received from Crime Against Children (CAC), a unit of INTERPOL, Singapore which had received the same from New Zealand police for sharing with relevant countries. It was alleged that a number of Indian citizens were involved in circulation/downloading/transmission of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) using cloud-based storage. The said information received in INTERPOL from Law enforcement authorities of New Zealand was analysed & developed by CBI, and suspected persons were identified to locate and disrupt further distribution. Today’s crackdown was follow up of massive operation (Operation Carbon) carried out by CBI last year against Online Child Sexual Abuse Material
During searches electronic devices including mobiles, laptops belonging to more than 50 suspects have been recovered. Preliminary scrutiny of these electronic devices using cyber forensic tools has allegedly revealed the presence of huge quantity of CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) in a number of electronic devices.
The suspects are being questioned with regard to the CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) found in their electronic devices so as to identify the child victims and the abusers.
Operation Chakra is one of the CBI-led global operations in recent times for rapid response to online child sexual exploitation cases with international linkages and organized cyber enabled financial crimes with victims, accused, suspects, conspirators located across international jurisdictions, requiring a globally coordinated law enforcement response. Operation CHAKRA seeks to collate information from various law enforcement agencies within India, engage with relevant law enforcement agencies globally and coordinate closely through INTERPOL channels to combat online child sexual exploitation and such organized cyber criminal activities. Coordination meetings were organised with INTERPOL and foreign law enforcement agencies for sharing critical information to dismantle such cybercrime networks.