Two 17-year-old Italians were arrested for paying Bitcoin (BTC) to see children sexually raped, tortured and murdered in live broadcast.
Local media Il Messaggero reported On July 15, the deep web site the two saw also allowed users to pay more to decide what torture children would be subjected to next. The Italian police explained:
“Users who were able to reach such dark environments can participate in acts of sexual violence and torture against minors, carried out live by adults.”
Torture on demand
The services offered by the website have different costs. Viewing a prerecorded video costs much less than watching it live, but in both cases the viewing ends with the death of the child. The article also provides another example, according to which “viewers can, for example, ask them to amputate a child’s arm or pour hot oil on the victim”. The police said:
“Live applications really cost a lot of money and ensure particularly high profits for foreign organizations that carry out those inhumane acts.”
The two were registered as part of an ongoing investigation that has so far involved 25 people, 19 minors and six over the age of 18, residing in 13 Italian provinces. The operation is nicknamed “Delirio”, delusion in Italian, by the local police. It started in October and resulted in dozens of searches.
The two arrested are a man and a woman who exchanged details related to what they called a “red room.” The man often shared gloomy details of the live broadcasts with the women.
Media found includes pedopornographic videos made by minors, videos of children up to three years of age being abused by adults, and videos showing violence often accompanied by Nazi symbolism.
It is unclear whether the website offering the services was shut down, but presumably only some of its viewers were caught. Local police have not responded to the Cointelegraph investigation.
The relationship of pedopornography with cryptocurrencies
The anonymity of cryptocurrencies and the lack of government control over them make them apt for criminals. Among those criminals, we can find political dissidents, whistleblowers and journalists, but also pedophiles, drug dealers and hackers.
There have been many worldwide reports on the use of Bitcoin and other crypto assets specifically in child pornography trafficking. For example, at the end of June, the Spanish law enforcement agencies eliminated a circle of child pornography that used cryptocurrency transactions to pay for content.