Pakistan

FIA arrests four suspects allegedly involved in child pornography

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a cross-country crackdown on Saturday arrested four suspects on charges of working for an international child pornography ring.

The agency said that the action was carried out upon the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The FIA said that global anti-crime agency Interpol had shared relevant information regarding the suspects with Islamabad, following which the law enforcement agency had moved to make the arrests.

The ring was being operated from the United States, the FIA said.

A suspect, identified as Arsalan, was arrested from Sialkot today. He was in contact with the group, said the agency.

According to the FIA, the ring sold pornographic material featuring minors. Officials confiscated 225GB of data from Arsalan alone.

The agency said it is investigating the matter further to uncover more illegal activity and will take appropriate action.

The FIA, using the input from Interpol, also cracked down suspects in various other cities.

Three suspects allegedly involved in child pornography were arrested from Karachi, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.

The FIA said it seized illegal content from the possession of the suspects, adding that further investigation is underway.

Laws against child pornography

In 2016, Pakistan had criminalised child pornography in a historic first, making the offense punishable with seven years in prison and a fine of Rs0.7 million.

The new amendment, titled Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2015, also criminalised child trafficking within the country.

The initiative came after the country was rocked by a major pedophilia scandal in August 2015, when it was revealed that hundreds of pornographic videos of children from Hussain Khanwala village in the Punjab province had been made and were being circulated online.

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