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Huge International Child Sexual Exploitation Network gets Smashed

The internet-based child pornographic network was the world's largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content

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Sxual Exploitation
According to report, the operation led to the rescue of at least 23 minor victims of Sexual Exploitation residing in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site. Pixabay

American, British and South Korean officials announced at a news briefing here on Wednesday that they have busted one of the worlds largest child sexual exploitation networks.

An analysis of a server, seized by South Korean authorities, revealed that the website had more than one million bitcoin addresses, signifying that the website had a capacity for at least one million users, Dawn newspaper reported.

According to the report, the operation led to the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site.

The internet-based child pornographic network was the world’s largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content, said US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Downing.

Officials said hundreds of suspects had been charged worldwide for their alleged involvement with the largest darknet child pornography website, funded by Bitcoin.

In Washington, a federal grand jury indicted a South Korean national Jong Woo Son, 23 for operating the website called Welcome to Video.

Sexual Exploitation
The internet-based child pornographic network was the world’s largest child Sexual Exploitation market by volume of content. Pixabay

The nine-count indictment was unsealed on Wednesday along with a parallel civil forfeiture action. Son has also been charged and convicted in South Korea and is currently in custody, serving his sentence in South Korea.

Authorities have also arrested 337 other users in the US states of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Con­necticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsy­lvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington State and Washington, DC.

According to the Dawn report, some of the suspects were arrested in the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia.

“Darknet sites that profit from the sexual exploitation of children are among the most vile and reprehensible forms of criminal behaviour,” said US Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski. “This administration will not allow child predators to use lawless online spaces as a shield.”

He said the US Department of Justice was working closely with partners in South Korea and around the world to rescue child victims and bring to justice the perpetrators of the abhorrent crimes.

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.

“Through the sophisticated tracing of bitcoin transactions, IRS-CE special agents were able to determine the location of the Darknet server, identify the administrator of the website and ultimately track down the website server’s physical location in South Korea,” he said.

Sexual Exploitation
Some of these internet Child Sexual Exploitation suspects were arrested in the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia. Pixabay

“This large-scale criminal enterprise that endangered the safety of children around the world is no more,” Fort added.

According to the indictment, agents from the IRS, HSI, National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom, and Korean National Police in South Korea arrested Son and seized the server that he used to operate a darknet market that exclusively advertised child sexual exploitation videos available for download by members of the site.

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The operation resulted in the seizure of approximately eight terabytes of child sexual exploitation videos, which is one of the largest seizures of its kind. (IANS)

Next Story

Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

Nirbhaya rapists
In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

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I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali