American man arrested in Hyderabad for online child porn, police probe trafficking links | Reuters

By Jatindra Dash

BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A 42-year-old American has been arrested in Hyderabad on suspicion of circulating child pornography on the internet, police said on Thursday, adding that they were investigating whether any of the victims had been trafficked.The man, working for a multinational law firm in Hyderabad since 2012, was arrested on Monday after police were alerted by Interpol to an IP address linked to online images and videos of children being sexually abused.Ukkalam Rama Mohan, the police superintendent in charge of fighting cyber crime in Telangana state, whose capital is Hyderabad, said the suspect had confessed to publishing and transmitting obscene images electronically."We found several thousands of pornographic images and videos on his laptop and iPhone which he had collected since long," Rama Mohan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

Soumya Mishra, Telangana's Inspector General from the Crime Investigation Department, said police were going through the large repository of images and videos seized and would be working with Interpol to check if the children were trafficked."We will give the entire data to Interpol to find out who are these children in the videos and trace them. This is a big amount of research," Mishra said.The man, who is from New Jersey in the United States, could not be contacted. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi could not confirm the arrest or provide any details.

Police said if found guilty, the American national could face up to five years imprisonment, and a fine of up to one million rupees ($14,665).News of the arrest comes days after the Indian government announced plans to establish a national alliance with charities and police to stem a surge in images of children being sexually abused on the internet.

There is no accurate data on the number of Indian children being exploited in pornographic material - either being forced to show their sexual organs or engage in sexual acts - as many victims do not go to the police due to fear and shame.There were 96 reports of children in India being sexually exploited in online imagery in 2015 -- a rise of 140 percent from 2014, according to National Crimes Records Bureau data. (Reporting by Jatindra Dash in Bhubaneswar. Additional reporting by Nita Bhalla. Writing by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla, Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Jan 19, 2017 21:42 PM

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