Thai investors had purchased the platform as a group set up in Russia and hosted on the popular Russian social network VK. The man arrested on Saturday says he was the administrator who began work a year ago.
The arrest of a child pornography site administrator in Chiang Mai on Saturday shows disturbingly that online child abuse is a growing business in Thailand as police reveal that Thai investors purchased a child pornography platform as a lurid business venture.
Investigators working with the Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children or Ticac have established that a group of investors purchased a child pornography group on the Russian social network VK or Vkontakte and transferred its administration to Thailand as a commercial enterprise.
Early morning raid announced on Saturday
This follows an early morning raid on Saturday in which the 24-year old administrator of the business was arrested at his apartment in the centre of Chaing Mai.
The arrest of Korakot Chulthong was announced on Saturday by Provincial Police Region 5 who led the raid working with Thailand’s cyber policing agency tasked with tracking down and rooting out online child abuse.
The apartment was located on the Thung Hotel Road and police seized a laptop, three mobile phones and two external disk drives.
Urgent reports from concerned Thai people
Mr Korakot admitted to investigating police officers that he was the administrator of the online group. He said he had taken the position over a year ago.
His arrest came after police launched an investigation into the child pornography platform following urgent reports to police agencies from concerned Thai citizens some of them mothers and fathers who had come across the platform in which disturbing videos were promoted featuring Thai children clearly being sexually exploited.
Online group had up to 200,000 followers
Police revealed that the online group had up to 200,000 followers with 800 paying members being charged fees ranging from ฿ 300 to ฿ 500 per month to see uncut versions of the content displayed online as bait.
VK is Russia’s most popular social network
VK is an increasingly popular social network based in St Petersburg and is Russia’s favourite online platform with over 100 million active users in the Russin Federation and around the world where it is available in different languages.
The network is the 12th most visited internet site in the world.
Warrant issued for handling child pornography
The police raid on Saturday was on foot of a warrant issued by a Thai court for the arrest of the site’s 24-year-old administrator for possession of child pornographic material and for inputting pornographic data into a computer system.
Police, as part of their investigation, had posed as potential paying members of the network and payments were tracked to the site boss.
Budding Thai pornography tycoon arrested
At the end of February, the busy Ticac taskforce was involved in a similar arrest when a resident of Nong Bua Thong, Waranyu Laolert, was arrested for running a child pornography network across several websites and using various social media outlets to lure paying customers.
Harvested the content for free online
At the time, police reported that Mr Waranyu, the budding child pornography tycoon, had amassed a collection of child pornography from a range of web sources worldwide for free.
He was reselling them to a group of 700 paying customers. He was reported to have been making a profit of ฿ 300,000. He had only established his operation in July 2018.
Explored filming women and girls surreptitiously to feed the voracious demand of his perv network
However, police revealed after his arrest in February that the man had begun to explore ways for recording women and young girls surreptitiously without their consent to feed the voracious demand online for pornography including child sex pornography in Thailand.