US Federal Law Enforcement Takes Down the World’s Largest Child Porn Marketplace

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Federal prosecutors have filed multiple charges against a 23-year-old South Korean man, Jong Woo Son, who is accused of running what they call the world’s largest dark-web child-porn marketplace. “Welcome to Video” was a website, in English, that contained more than 200,000 unique videos showing sex acts involving children, toddlers and infants, and processed 7,300 Bitcoin transactions worth more than $730,000. The site operated from June 2015 until it was seized and shut down by U.S. authorities in March 2018. Jong Woo Son is currently serving an 18-month prison sentence in his home country after his conviction on charges related to child pornography. Officials said 300 other suspects have been arrested in South Korea this week. Five men from the US have been convicted on federal charges related to the child-porn website. One of them, Richard Gratkowski, was a former Homeland Security Investigations agent. -GEG

Federal prosecutors have filed multiple charges against a 23-year-old South Korean man accused of running what they call the world’s “largest dark web child porn marketplace.”

The now-shuttered English-language site, called “Welcome to Video,” contained more than 200,000 unique videos or almost 8 terabytes of data showing sex acts involving children, toddlers and infants, according to the 18-page criminal indictment unsealed here Wednesday, and processed 7,300 Bitcoin transactions worth more than $730,000.

 

According to prosecutors, the vast online store was run by Jong Woo Son, a South Korean citizen currently serving an 18-month prison sentence in his home country after his conviction on charges related to child pornography. The site operated from June 2015 until it was seized and shut down by U.S. authorities in March 2018.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, U.S. officials said 337 suspected users of the site had been arrested worldwide to date.


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