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World

REUTERS
October 16, 2019

US charges 338 people across the globe for child porn

World

REUTERS
Wed, Oct 16, 2019
File photo

WASHINGTON: US law enforcement officials said on Wednesday that 338 people across the globe have been charged as part of a criminal investigation of a child pornography website that sold videos using bitcoin cryptocurrency.

The website, called Welcome To Video, was taken offline in March 2018 and contained over 250,000 unique videos, authorities said.

Law enforcement authorities have arrested and charged subjects in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia, the US Justice Department said.

The investigation has led to the rescue of at least 23 underage victims in the United States, Britain and Spain who were being actively abused by users of the site, the Justice Department said. Many children in the videos have not yet been identified.

Welcome to Video is one of the first websites to monetize child pornography using bitcoin, which allows users to hide their identities during financial transactions, the Justice Department said.