Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 18: Kerala Police's cyber crimes unit has busted a gang engaged in online commercial sex soliciting and taken a dozen people into custody, officials said on Wednesday.
The gang operated by placing ads on the internet that showed pictures of children, especially girls.
Inspector General of Police S. Sreejith told reporters on Wednesday that the gang of 12 was taken into custody in Kochi on Tuesday night during the police operation code-named 'Big Daddy'.
"This includes two sisters who hail from Karnataka and who were bought from there by a Kerala woman. Two women, identified by us, however, escaped after their vehicle knocked down a police official in Kochi yesterday (Tuesday)," said Sreejith.
"We have also arrested a couple -- Rahul Pasupalan and his wife Reshmi. We found out that the couple were engaged in this racket for the past one year.
"All digital evidence to nail the arrested are with us. All of them will be produced before a magistrate soon," the police officer said.
The couple had come into the limelight last year when they launched the 'kiss of love' event in Kochi to protest the increasing instances of moral policing in the state.
Their supporters tried to protest by kissing in public, but police foiled their attempt and took many protesters into custody.
Sreejith said online commercial sex has caught on very fast in Kerala.
"While we were investigating another online commercial sex case, we came across this 12-member gang. Our officials acted as decoys and got in touch with the gang leader named Akbar, who has around eight online commercial sites that trade in sex," he said.
Four people, including two women, were on the run, said Sreejith.
He said there was no need for statements or confessions from the accused as police had all the digital evidence of what they were involved in.
He also praised officials of social network Facebook for cooperating with authorities.