Authorities Take Down Darknet Portal That Made Nearly $2 Million Selling Child Porn

Authorities from the United States and Europe have revealed they took down a website selling child pornography and “real” rape videos via the darknet, that is estimated to have made nearly $2 million in revenue.

According to a press released published by the Europol, the website was taken down after the arrest of its alleged 32-year-old Dutch administrator on obscenity and money laundering charges. The alleged administrator, Michael Rahim Mohammad, or “Mr Dark” was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia over his alleged connections to DarkScandals.

The website was reportedly selling over 2,000 videos depicting sexual assault or abuse, including against minors. Don Fort, chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation team, commented on the takedown:

The types of crimes described in this indictment are the most disgusting I’ve encountered in 30 years of law enforcement. It is a special kind of evil to prey on and profit from the pain of others.

Investigators stumbled upon DarkScandals while investigating the South Korea-based child porn website “Welcome to Video,” which was described as one of the world’s largest child pornography websites before being taken down.

Following the trail, they got to a man who admitted to having downloaded 3,000 videos from that website, and who also used DarkScandals. Mohammad was arrested at his home in the Netherlands on Monday, March 9.

The website was founded back in 2012, and described its offering as ““real blackmail, rape and forced videos of girls all around the world.” To access the content users either paid for the videos in bitcoin or ether, or with credits obtained by uploading videos themselves. DarkScandals made it a point to reject “acted movies.”

The Justice Department in the U.S. has also filed a civil forfeiture complaint to seize 303 cryptocurrency addresses allegedly used by the website’s users, to seize the cryptocurrency holdings.

Dutch and German authorities collaborated with authorities from the U.S. and Europol to take down DarkScandals. In the takedown of Welcome to Video blockchain data explorer Chainalysis was used, but it isn’t clear if it was used in this investigation.

Featured image via Pixabay.