The Trichy police have arrested a 42-year-old air conditioner mechanic for allegedly possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material The arrest is a part of a state-wide crackdown on residents downloading sexual abuse material with minors featuring in them.
A week ago, Additional Director-General of Police of Crime against Women and Children wing, M Ravi, held a press conference in Chennai where he stated that atleast 1500 people across the state had downloaded child sexual abuse material over a period of a week in November. He further added that the state had inputs and details of those who downloaded the material and that the same had been forwarded to commissioners and district superintendents of police to initiate action.
Trichy SP Varadarajalu tells TNM that it was this information that led to the arrest of the mechanic Alphonso.
"The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) gave the Tamil Nadu police details of the offenders. We were in turn given a Facebook ID that was indentified as distributing child sexual abuse material. He was initially using an ID titled 'nilavan_nilavan' but this was suspended by the social media site," says the SP. "Later he started using an ID titled 'aadhavan_aadhavan'," he adds.
When the police began digging into the Facebook account, they then retrieved a phone number connected to Alphonso, a resident of Trichy. They then tracked him down and began searching for the banned content on his systems.
"We couldn't find anything initially. Later we went through his Facebook messenger texts and found that he had indeed sent child sexual abuse material to people," says the SP. "He seems to have almost been addicted to child sexual abuse material," he adds.
The police has booked Alphonso under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Section 67(a) (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act) of the Information Technology Act and remanded him to judicial custody for 15 days.
"We will also be conducting inquiries against those who have received the videos," says the SP.