Child porn on WhatsApp: Invite to join group shared through Facebook, claim copshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/child-porn-on-whatsapp-invite-to-join-group-shared-through-facebook-claim-cops-5293007/

Child porn on WhatsApp: Invite to join group shared through Facebook, claim cops

While one of the administrators, a Bhayander-based college student, has been arrested, the police are looking for the other administrator who is based in Tamil Nadu.

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Child pornography was being circulated on a whatsapp group. (Representational)

The Thane rural police investigating a case of child pornography have found that the invite to join the WhatsApp group in which the pornographic content had been uploaded was shared through a closed Facebook group.

The WhatsApp group, ‘BB Badboys’ had 217 members from across the world and two administrators. While one of the administrators, a Bhayander-based college student, has been arrested, the police are looking for the other administrator who is based in Tamil Nadu.

An officer said: “During the course of investigation is has emerged that the common link among the members of the WhatsApp group was an invite circulated on a closed Facebook group. Once you clicked on the link, you were added to the WhatsApp group. Soon after the accused found that a police case had been registered, the Facebook group was deleted by them.” The investigation also said the group had been active since the first week of February till a member, who was uncomfortable with child pornography videos being forwarded in the group, had approached the police through a cyber expert.

So far, the police have arrested seven people, including three college students and a Nashik resident under Section 67(b) (punishment for publishing or transmitting material depicting children in sexually explicit act in an electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

“We are taking legal opinion to find out if sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act could be applied against the main accused, like the administrators of the group,” an officer said. Another officer said: “Once we arrest the Tamil Nadu-based admin, who we suspect started the group, we will be able to find out more details.

The other group members used different names and efforts are on to establish their identities.” A video clip involving a minor had been circulated in the group, after which one of the members, whose identity has been withheld, approached a cyber security expert, who asked him to approach the police.

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The local Bhayander police then registered an FIR on the basis of the complaint of the group member. Under the Information Technology Act, it is illegal to watch or forward content in which a minor is involved.