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[Newsmaker] Child porn site operator’s father files complaint against son

(National Crime Agency)
(National Crime Agency)

The father of the world’s largest child porn site operator pressed charges against his son in an apparent bid to prevent his extradition to the US by getting him prosecuted in South Korea.

The father of Son Jong-woo, who ran the Welcome to Video site on the dark web, filed a complaint against his son with the prosecution on Monday for violation of the law on criminal proceeds concealment.

He wrote in the complaint that his son used his personal information without his consent to open a virtual currency account, and used it to transact and conceal criminal proceeds.

The father also wrote that Son defamed his grandmother by paying her hospital fees with his criminal proceeds.

Son, 24, served his 18-month term in jail in Korea for producing and distributing child pornography, and is awaiting court decision on whether to extradite him to the US upon request from the US Justice Department last year.

Due to the rule against double jeopardy, the Seoul High Court is to review only money laundering charges regarding Son’s extradition.

Son’s father appears to be hoping that his son may be able to avoid extradition if he is prosecuted in Korea for concealing criminal proceeds.

The father appealed to the court last month that it would be “too harsh” to extradite him, and that his son won’t be able to bear life in a US prison as he is not “heinous by nature.”

He argued that his son would be sentenced to at least 50 years in jail in the US where he has been indicted on nine charges including producing, advertising and distributing child porn, conspiracy and money laundering.

Under the US federal law, offenders convicted of money laundering can get up to 20 years in prison for laundering $500,000 or more, and up to 10 years for less than $500,000.

In Korea, conviction for concealing criminal proceeds results in jail term of not more than five years, or a fine not exceeding 30 million won.

Son is suspected of collecting 400 million won in virtual currency for providing videos of child sexual exploitation to some 4,000 people on the dark web for two years and eight months from July 2015.

Son’s website contained more than 250,000 videos amounting to around 8 terabytes of data, making it “the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content,” according to the US Justice Department.

By Kim So-hyun (