Three arrested for running international child porn racket | The Daily Star
09:11 PM, October 19, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:17 PM, October 19, 2020

Three arrested for running international child porn racket

Upon receiving complaints from child pornography victims and different international law enforcement agencies, the digital forensic team of the cybercrime unit of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) arrested three Bangladeshi youths from different areas of Dhaka last Thursday under the Pornography Control Act.

The arrestees are Borhan Uddin, 26, his cousin Abdullah Al Mahmud, 25, and Ovi Hossain, 25.

The trio were arrested during special drives by the forensic team in the capital's Sabujbagh, Rampura and Pallabi area, Ishtiaq Ahmed, assistant commissioner of forensic team of CTTC unit, told The Daily Star today.

The arrestees confessed to their crimes under section 164 before a Dhaka court today, said Ishtiaq.

Police also recovered around 3,316 photos and videos of 45 minors, some sex toys and a manual on how to convince girls to provide nude content, he said.

Of the victims they targeted, three are Bangladeshis, while the rest are from the US, United Kingdom and Australia.

According to officials, a 15-year-old American girl first filed a complaint against Ovi on November 20 last year through the Facebook page of the cybercrime unit of CTTC.

Two months later, on February 2 of this year, another 14-year-old girl from the US filed a complaint through the unit's Facebook page against Borhan. In the complaint, the girl mentioned that she had been victimised by the accused for the last five years.

Beside these two, the unit also received five other complaints from local and international law enforcement agencies, prompting them to investigate the cases, said officials.

In the confessional statement, Borhan told the court that he registered an account with social media site Instagram using a fake female ID in 2015. He then got connected to a secret group where such content was shared.

Borhan was then "trained" and advised by the secret group's admin to open an account in the dark web, which he did by paying in digital currency, court sources said quoting Borhan.

Borhan's task was to send private messages to juvenile girls and lure them, using the manual provided by the secret group's admin.  

Once a victim sent him any nude pictures or videos, he would upload those to secret Instagram groups and also traded those in the dark web.

Borhan included his cousin Mahmud in the illegal operations. They would also threaten their victims of releasing the pictures and videos if they refused to send new ones, sources said.

Similarly, Ovi also used to lure girls using different dating sites, Facebook and Instagram.

AC Ishtiaq Ahmed said that the ultimate goal of these syndicate members were to collect bitcoin through the dark web by selling the photos and videos.

"We are now trying to get details of the arrestees' associates by analysing their data and cell phones. We may be able to say more after receiving the forensic report of the arrestees' cell phones, getting approval from the court," he said.

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