Authorities Bust 'Largest Darknet Child Pornography Website' That Offered Videos Using Bitcoin

Cheryl Sanders
October 18, 2019

HAS been named on a list of 38 countries where arrests took place as part of a US Justice Department operation against one of the world's largest child abuse websites.

The site in question is "Welcome to Video", which operated from June 2015 until March 2018 and hosted over 250,000 sexual exploitation videos of children, toddlers, and infants, which comprised of roughly over 8TB of data. The website allowed users to upload videos; 45% of the illicit images authorities had not previously seen.

The owner of the Welcome the Video website was arrested for money laundering and child pornography charges.

An investigation of a host, captured by the South Korean government, disclosed that the site had over one thousand bitcoin addresses, suggesting the site had potential for one million consumers, Dawn newspaper reported. In addition to Son, 337 site users from countries like USA, U.K. South Korea, and Canada have been arrested and charged by local government enforcement agencies.

The DoJ added that the operation saw the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site. "Don Fort, chief of the division, said they determined the location of the Darknet server in South Korea, identified Son and found the physical location of the website. Regardless of the illicit scheme, and whether the proceeds are virtual or tangible, we will continue to work with our federal and worldwide partners to track down these disgusting organisations and bring them to justice". They also unmasked users hiding behind Bitcoin transactions, Fort said. If you've ever spent a bitcoin or a monero, then the proof that it happened is etched indelibly into that currency's blockchain, forever.

Bitcoin users can be exposed if any one of a wallet's transactions can be linked to a real identity.

Prosecutors have also filed a civil forfeiture claim to recover funds from 24 bitcoin accounts associated with three cryptocurrency exchanges.

He is already serving an 18-month sentence in South Korea on convictions related to child pornography.

Sadly, advances in technology have enabled child predators to hide behind the dark web and cryptocurrency to further their criminal activity. Our entire justice system will stop at nothing to prevent these heinous crimes, safeguard our children, and bring justice to all.

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