The Cendtral Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India has arrested seven people as part of a crackdown on a suspected international online child sexual exploitation network that had extended to a number of countries, including Sri Lanka.
The arrests followed raids in 77 locations across 13 states and one Union territory.
The raids, the CBI said, were conducted after the discovery of an online child sexual abuse operation that allegedly involves more than 50 syndicates and 5,000 individuals spread across 100 countries.
According to sources in the CBI, the nexus was engaged in the online distribution of child sexual exploitation material for monetary benefits.
The suspected child sexual abuse network extends well beyond the borders of India and involves people from Pakistan, the US, Canada, the UK, Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Yemen, Malaysia, and Indonesia, among other countries.
“This is part of a larger nexus,” the CBI source said.
“Thirty-six of the phone numbers identified have been detected in Pakistan, 35 in Canada and the UK, 31 in Bangladesh, 30 in Sri Lanka, 28 in Nigeria, 27 in Azerbaijan, 24 in Yemen, and 22 in Malaysia.”
The CBI is now coordinating with foreign law enforcement agencies to get to the root of the entire network.