U.S. Loses Bid to Extradite South Korean Child Porn Operator

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A U.S. request to extradite a South Korean man described as running one of the world’s biggest child porn  site has been rejected by the Seoul High Court.

The court ruled that allowing Son Jong-woo, who operated a darknet site called “Welcome to Video,” to leave the country could hamper South Korea’s investigation into sexually exploitative content, Yonhap news agency and BBC reported.

“The decision should not be interpreted as exonerating him,” the court said, adding that “Son should actively cooperate with the investigation and face proper punishment.”

Son was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia in the United States in August 2018 on nine counts for his operation of the massive child sexual exploitation site.

Arrested in Korea in March 2018 , he was convicted of generating and distributing exploitative content for fees paid using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. authorities found approximately eight terabytes of child sexual assault videos.

The site, which operated from June 2015 to March 2018, was taken down by law enforcement.

Officials arrested 337 people in connection with the case, including 223 Koreans. At least 23 underage victims abused by the site’s users were rescued.

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