Some 337 people across 11 eleven countries and 22 USA states have been arrested as part of a takedown of a dark web site that dealt in child exploitation material. The Federal Grand Jury has found that a 23-year-old citizen of South Korea named Zhang Woo Son used to run a website called Welcome to Video.
A massive child pornography website was taken down thanks to Bitcoin surveillance.
Fort explained how the USA investigation was led to South Korea: "Through the sophisticated tracing of bitcoin transactions, IRS criminal investigation special agents were able to determine the location of the dark net server, identify the administrator of the website and ultimately track down the website server's physical location in South Korea".
The website relied on bitcoin cryptocurrency to sell access to 250,000 videos depicting child sexual abuse, including footage of extremely young children being raped, authorities said.
Assistant attorney general Brian A Benczkowski of the DoJ said: "Dark net sites that profit from the sexual exploitation of children are among the most vile and reprehensible forms of criminal behaviour".
Law enforcement authorities said they have arrested and charged subjects in the US, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia. The website allowed users to upload videos; 45% of the illicit images authorities had not previously seen.
Law enforcement agencies shared data from the server around the world.
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Bloomberg reports that IRS Criminal Investigation Division joined Homeland Security, IRS, The U.K.'s National Crime Agency with the investigation.
According to the report, the performance caused the rescue of 23 minor victims living in the USA, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were actively abused by the users of the website.
He is already serving an 18-month sentence in South Korea on convictions related to child pornography.
"There's a lot of a people who have this perception that bitcoin is totally anonymous", Parsons said, "and it's been the downfall of many people in many investigations".
Moreover, two users of the Welcome to Video dark market site committed suicide following the execution of search warrants.
Chief of the US Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Enforcement Don Fort told the news briefing that their agents played a key role in busting the network. It is a reminder to criminals that their Bitcoin transactions are not foolproof.