Hundreds Arrested After Child Exploitation Site Seized, Bitcoin Use Helped Track Offenders
One of the largest dark web child exploitation sites in the world has just been taken down. According to the U. S. Attorney’s Office of Columbia and the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom and South Korea, a man from South Korea was officially indicted for operating the network.
Another 337 users from the site, which included people from the U. S. and 11 other countries were indicted as well. Some of them were already incarcerated. The operation also led the police to rescue 23 minors which resided in the U. K., Spain and the U. K.
The site, which was called Welcome to Video (WTV), offered child pornography for sale using Bitcoin (BTC). The amount of money that the site was able to raise with the illegal activity was large, but different sources cite different numbers, so it is difficult to know exactly how much the criminals made.
Around 7.5 terabytes of pornography were apprehended by the authorities, making this one of the largest operations ever. According to reports from the police, the site had at least structure for a million clients, as each client would send the money to a unique BTC address and there were a million of them created for this purpose.
The criminals were only discovered because of the Internal Revenue System Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), which tracked several BTC transactions all the world to discover the people who were involved in the operation.
U. S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu affirmed that children around the world are safer after the operation. Now, the authorities will continue to track these criminals in order to take down their networks.