An investigation into a sex abuse chat room discovered that chat room leader was using the privacy enhancing cryptocurrency called Monero (XMR) to accept payments without tracking abilities.
Cho Ju-bin, age 25, is accused of charging users between 200,000 to 1.5 million Korean won (around $160 to $1,200) for access to videos and images of young women, many younger than 16, who were forced to perform sex acts on themselves.
Cho was named as the alleged ringleader of a Telegram chat group known as the Doctor’s Room, and is accused of violating the child protection, privacy and sexual abuse acts, in addition to charges of abuse, blackmail and threatening others.
Following a Supreme Court case in 2018, cryptocurrencies are considered a form of property subject to forfeit after conviction in South Korea.
Because the majority of the $1.2 Million Cho received was in Monero cryptocurrency the transactions are almost impossible to trace.
Cho is accused of blackmailing 16 underage girls and triple that amount of women, and forced them to send degrading and sexually exploitative images of themselves, and even forced many of them to carve the word ‘slave’ into their bodies. He operated multiple rooms on Telegram, with users paying extra to view more graphic or extreme material. Korean authorities have also arrested 124 suspects and 18 operators linked to the case.