The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday, 24 September, carried out nationwide raids at 56 locations in 19 states and a Union Territory against the cases of circulation of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), agency officials said.
The search operation – codenamed 'Megha Chakra' – is being conducted on the basis of inputs from Interpol Singapore, which was shared by the authorities in New Zealand, they said.
The operation aims to target cloud storage facilities used by the peddlers to circulate audiovisuals of illicit sexual activities with minors.
The officials further added that the searches are also based on the intelligence obtained during last year's Operation Carbon, conducted against peddlers of CSAM on the Internet using cloud storage.
Operation Carbon was conducted in November 2021 in relation to a case of alleged online child sexual abuse and exploitation. As a part of the operation, the CBI undertook searches around 77 locations across 14 states, including Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Haryana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh.
The Interpol has an International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) image and video database, which is an intelligence and investigative tool, that allows specialised investigators to share data on cases of child sexual abuse. CBI is also a nodal agency of Interpol.