International Authorities Work Together to Take Down Crypto-Funded Child Porn Ring

Spanish authorities have arrested several individuals related to ongoing investigations against crypto-driven child porn sites on the dark web.

The Spanish Civil Guard has taken down a dark-web child porn ring that used cryptocurrency transactions to pay for content. Multiple individuals across the country were ultimately arrested.

According to the Spanish Civil Guard, the “Jekyll” operation captured three people involved in the “Welcome 2 Video” platform, thanks in part to additional support from United States authorities.

Bitcoin and “anonymous tokens”

Users would send Bitcoin (BTC) and “other tokens or anonymous money transfer services” to access videos on the dark web site. Members were also rewarded for uploading their own videos and photos to the platform.

Analysis of thousands of crypto transactions ultimately led to arrests related to the site.

In the “Kugantxu” operation, the police arrested a person in Bilbao, Spain, for buying child pornography and paying for streaming services where minors were raped live or on demand. The name of the site was not disclosed.

According to the Civil Guard, the website is allegedly run by individuals in the Philippines. Once the country’s Transnational Criminal Investigations Unit was alerted, it was ultimately able to identify the content’s authors.

Another operation, named “Kiru,” led to the capture of a Madrid-based man accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl, who was the suspect’s stepdaughter.

Transnational operation against the child porn ring

The massive police operation identified a total of 20 people located in the U.S., Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

On June 2, a South Korean court ordered a freeze on all cryptocurrency wallets, securities deposits and stock accounts owned by Cho Ju-bin, the suspected head of Nth Room — a Telegram channel under investigation for circulating child pornography.

Experts have since claimed that investigators in the Telegram Nth room case could have trouble identifying users who used crypto payments.

Publication date: 
06/29/2020 - 19:44
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