Bhayandar : The Navghar police in Bhayandar busted an interstate child pornography racket that was being run via WhatsApp groups with college students and young professions as members from across the country.

Five members (aged between 18 to 24 years)  were held from Bhayandar, Vasai, Virar, Thane and Mumbai for downloading, viewing and sharing child pornographic content – a heinous offence under the law. However the group admin are still at large said police officials who refused to divulge the identity of the accused as the disclosure might hamper ongoing investigations.

The pornographic content was being uploaded in four groups including – BB Bad Boys and Apne Risk Pe Join Karo. After information in context to existence of such groups, the  Additional SP Atul Kulkarni deputed special teams to identify such offending groups and track their admins.

Explaining the modus operandi of the group operators, ASP Kulkarni said those associated with circulating pornographic content invited members by sending links.

“Each of the four groups controlled  by two admins had around 100 to 150 members each. More arrests are likely as our teams are fanning regions including Nashik and Dombivali to nab the admins and active members. We have launched a detailed probe. ”

The police have not yet come across any proof that the members of the group were paying to access the for content which was apparently procured from dark webs which facilitate child porn. Apart from investigating a child trafficking angle into the case, the Navghar police is also verifying inputs related existence of similar social media groups.

 Accessing, producing, recording, uploading or circulating child abuse videos or pictures are serious offences under the relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and attract a punishment of up to seven years and monetary fines. Meanwhile all the five accused remanded to police custody.

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