A South Korean court has ordered to freeze cryptocurrencies belonging to the alleged operator of a child pornography ring. Known as the Nth Room, the ring operated on encrypted message service Telegram and received payments in digital currencies. The Seoul-based court issued the freeze order for 15 digital currency wallets owned by Cho Joo-bin, the alleged mastermind behind a child pornographic ring.
According to the KBS News report, the court acted on the request of the prosecutors in charge of the case. The prosecutors claimed that the crypto wallets hold most of the profits that the alleged operator received from his criminal activities.
The child pornographic ring operated through Telegram.
The court also revealed that law enforcement authorities had recovered 130 million won ($106,950) from Cho’s house in April. Nth Room was a pornography operation that used encrypted messaging giant Telegram to distribute their material. South Korean authorities busted the operation late last year. The operator of the Nth Room allegedly lured over 100 women with promises of high-income jobs, only to extort and blackmail them into engaging in pornography. According to the report, he received payments in cryptocurrencies from over 10,000 subscribers. Out of the 103 women involved in the porn ring, 26 were minors, according to authorities.
Crypto scams surge amid the pandemic.
Earlier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had issued a warning about the potential surge in cryptocurrency-related scams. Some of the Nth Room operation members used international digital currency exchanges, further complicating the investigations for Korean authorities. The criminals used cryptocurrencies and made exchanges in foreign exchanges into Korean Won through illegal exchange platforms. Tracking crypto transactions for law enforcement authorities become hard as cryptocurrencies provide anonymity to users. In this case, Korean crypto exchanges came forward and provided the details of the alleged members.