Illegal ‘Crypto Exchange’ Operator Arrested in Nth Room Investigation
South Korean police investigating the Telegram Nth room sex exploitation and rape video case have arrested a man on suspicion of handling criminal funds – and believe he took cryptocurrencies from chief suspect Cho Joo-bin in exchange for cash.
Per YTN, the man has only been identified by his surname – Park. And police believe that Park had been running an illegal crypto “exchange” of sorts, providing clients with cash in exchange for payments to crypto wallets.
The case has sent shockwaves through South Korean society after it was revealed that up to 26,000 people may have paid cryptocurrency to access a chat room, allegedly run by Cho, containing videos of the torture and rape of some 74 victims, including around a dozen school-age girls.
Police say they are now trying to assess the scale of Park’s illicit business operations, and want to measure the amount of money and crypto that passed between him and Cho.
Police raided Cho’s house last month and discovered some USD 107,000 in cash, which they now believe may be linked to Park.
The media have also been told about an intermediary who was reportedly seen carrying plastic bags stuffed with cash to Cho’s residence.
Prosecutors have also charged a second suspect, identified only by his surname (Shin).
Shin is accused of co-running the Nth room, and police believe he may have been handed control over the room’s operation by Cho at some stage.
A third accomplice, a 16-year-old schoolboy named only by his surname (Kang), is also thought to have helped spread the videos in chat rooms and facilitate crypto payments.
Earlier this week, police investigators applied for warrants to search a further 20 crypto exchanges and brokerages, after a search of an initial five crypto exchanges – in pursuit of people who paid to watch the videos – led to some 100 arrests.