An administrator believed to be managing a dark web child smut site was recently apprehended in the Netherlands. The website has been brought down by a collaborative effort from the Dutch and American authorities.
The site is known as Darkscandals and is said to have harbored an upwards of two thousand inappropriate videos and images of minors engaging in adult activities. It even offered a real blackmail package where young girls from around the globe were forcefully compelled to commit heinous explicit acts.
Global Law Enforcement Efforts
The key Dutch bodies who were involved in this takedown included the Dutch Police (Politie), the Dutch National Prosecutor's Office (Openbaar Ministerie), and the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD).
The American hand in this include but are not limited to Homeland Security Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation department.
Police say that apart from opearating on the dark web, the site also had a clear web version making it easier to access.
Europol has mainly been supportive in the investigation in more ways than are mentionable. Since it established the European Cybercrime Centre back in 2013, it has managed to foster a stronger sense of cybersecurity in various sectors in the European Union. The government, private businesses, and ordinary citizens have greatly benefited from this.
The website administrator was apprehended in his residential home in Barendrecht, the Netherlands, on March 9. This came after adequate evidence was provided, showing the individual in possession of distributed child abuse material.
This arrest was primarily facilitated by a tip-off given by American authorities and Europol to the Dutch National Prosecutor's office and other Dutch high-ranking authorities.
Much of the illegal sexual material found on the site was non-consensual, violent, and quite graphic. The site is believed to have been officialized tentatively around 2012.
Its primary selling point is that it featured the special package of actual blackmail rape and forced videos from girls around the world. There were two ways in which the site users could access the material on the site.
One could either purchase a collection of the material directly from the site through cryptocurrency. The requested collection of the content would then be sent to the email of the interested user.
Alternatively, a user would upload material of a similar nature to the site. There was a stern emphasis by the controllers of the site that the content be produced initially and that it possesses a notable degree of raw realism, violence, and gore.
Allegedly, the perpetrators made away with about $2 million off this obscene and heinous trade. Through a collective grand jury decision, the District of Columbia indicted the administrator for operating the horrid website.
The site administrator was charged with multiple counts, including possession with intent to distribute child pornography, production, and distribution of obscene materials and laundering of monetary instruments.