A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, has announced a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia, has indicted a 23 year old South Korean national, for operating what it calls “the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content.” The announcement also notes that 337 visitors of the site both within and outside the U.S. were also apprehended and charged as well. Users paid for the illegal content in Bitcoin (BTC), which was then traced to apprehend the involved parties.

The owner, Jong Woo Son, operated the website called Welcome to Video (WTV) from the darknet and monetized the content by receiving Bitcoin before access. The DOJ’s investigation led to his arrest and also a search operation which eventually led to the search of homes and businesses belonging to at least 92 U.S. residents. 23 minors in the U.K., Spain and the U.S., who were being persistently exploited for content, were also rescued.

Blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis, provided IRS-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) agents along with other law enforcement agencies as well, with the software that was used in tracing the Bitcoin blockchain payments. It was during the analysis that law enforcement discovered more than a million Bitcoin addresses showing that each user was given a unique address. This suggests that content was paid for and accessed, at least a million times. At the moment, efforts are underway to recover the funds.

Bitcoin several times before has been used for illegal activity, to reduce their chance of being caught.

Image Credits: Pixabay

 

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