Global dark net child porn probe leads to 337 arrests

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Global law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday, October 16, that 337 arrests and the closure of the most notorious pedophile site of the dark web had been secured by an international inquiry into child pornography exchanged for bitcoin on the underground internet.

Officials from the U.S., UK, South Korea, and other countries said they had rescued at least 23 young victims of sexual assault, mostly video-recorded by offenders who then sold the images on the darknet’s now-shuttered “Welcome to Video” page.

The website has sold the videos to bitcoin users, which makes tracking the buyer extremely difficult.

From June 2015, when “Welcome to Video” began, to March 2018, the website received at least 420 Bitcoin virtual currency–about $370,000 at the time of payment–in at least 7,300 transactions, the U.S. Department of Justice said in an indictment.

The server, which had about 250,000 videos, was confiscated on March 5, 2018, by U.S., British, and South Korean authorities, and the owner, Son Jong-Woo, 23, was arrested and jailed in Korea.

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