The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell on Friday busted a gang allegedly involved in minting money from “dark web” through child pornography in Lahore.
At least 10 victims have been allegedly sexually exploited, according to initial investigation.
Suspects living in a private housing society situated in a peripheral area of the Punjab capital would lure victims through money or other means, rape them and film the whole ordeal.
The suspects, as per the FIA, extorted money from the victims and sexually abused them by threatening them to make their obscene videos viral if they resisted.
The gang of four members including a woman also earned money (in dollars) by selling videos on “dark web”. So far, one accused has been arrested, the officials said.
The FIA Cyber Wing Lahore was alerted after the organisation received a complaint.
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The complainant, father of a victim, had alleged that the suspects, identified as Arslan Arshad and Ammad Shahzad who are residents of a private housing society, had formed a gang to persuade the teenagers of the neighbourhood to sexually assault and record their videos without their consent. They would upload it on internet for earning money.
He said that his son was also trapped by them. The suspects on February 15, 2022 took the victim at the upper portion of his house and sexually assaulted him and also recorded a video.
Later, the suspect, Arsalan shared the video with his friend Abid through WhatsApp.
FIA after receiving the application launched the investigation and took suspect Abid Ali into custody from Arifwala tehsil of district Pakpattan.
The officials also recovered large number of videos of child pornography from his mobile phone and the prime suspect Arslan could also be seen in the videos raping the minors.
The suspect confessed to the FIA cyber wing officials that the gang members – Arslan, Ammad, Moazam and Talha – lured minor children by offering them money and precious gifts and captured their videos. “They later provide the video to a woman named Asma and her driver — Qamar alias Doda.”
FIA Cyber Crime Cell Lahore has registered a case against the accused persons under Section 20, 21 and 22 of The Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016 and section 109 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
FIA Cyber Crime Cell is also conducting raids to arrest the other accused persons. Further evidence about the accused persons and their act would be ascertained after their arrests, revelations and analysis of electronic gadgets recovered from their custody.