Crypto Tracking Helps Uncover a Huge Global Child Porn Ring Based in South Korea

Children Exploited for cryptocurrency

Thanks to the tracking characteristics of blockchain technology, United States authorities have been able to uncover the largest international child porn ring ever.

It is no news that crypto coins can (and are being) used to finance illegal activities. These activities range from (but are not limited to) aiding money laundering to financing terrorist groups, child pornography, and drug trafficking. Luckily, law enforcement agencies are aware of these illegal activities and are on their toes, devising means to keep as many as possible of the bad guys out of the crypto space.

In one of their normal screening, some United States law enforcement agencies caught some red flags in a darknet server and were able to clamp down on the largest child porn marketplaces across the globe.

The child porn ring named ‘Welcome to Video’ is run by a South Korean national who goes by the name Jong Woo Son. According to the Department of Justice’s press release, Jong Woo collects payments through Bitcoin(BTC)trade in exchange for child porn videos. Members of the marketplace are allegedly assigned a unique Bitcoin address upon signing up.

Law enforcement agencies revealed they recorded about a million (!) Bitcoin addresses delegated to a million members, an astonishing terrifying number.

Employing a blockchain-enabled software designed by Chainalysis, law enforcement agencies gained access to Bitcoin’s blockchain network, where they were able to track these transactions. The sophisticated software also made it possible to determine the exact location of the darknet server and identify the administrator of the child porn website. This helped in tracking down the physical location of the ring in South Korea.

Findings by the law enforcement agencies revealed that the porn ring wasn’t exclusive to South Korea. Victims are scattered across the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain. Fortunately, 23 victims have been rescued from all of these supposed branches.

News also has it that 337 arrests have been made in connection with the child porn ring. In addition to that, law enforcement agencies also recovered about 8 terabytes of child pornography videos from the website.

The press release states:

“the virtual currency accounts identified in the complaint were allegedly used by 24 individuals in five countries to fund the website and promote the exploitation of children. The forfeiture complaint seeks to recover these funds and, ultimately through the restoration process, return the illicit funds to victims of the crime.”

This is the biggest child porn clamp down ever. As painful as this is, it is soothing to know that law enforcement agencies and blockchain companies can work together for the greater good, and stop such horrible criminals.

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