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[Newsmaker] Teenager booked for sharing child pornography

Police booked a high school student in Incheon for sharing child pornography through a mobile messaging application.

Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency said Tuesday a teenager -- whose name and age were withheld -- was booked Monday for violation of the Act on the Protection of Children and Juveniles from Sexual Abuse. The male student is accused of sharing thousands of online links to pornography through the secure mobile messenger app Telegram. 


Police added that the boy was a different person than a teenager who had previously been named online as a suspect.

On Monday, another high school student had claimed innocence to police after his personal information had been revealed as that of the suspect on an online community website. His mother filed a defamation complaint with the local police station the same day.

According to an official from the cybercrimes investigations department at the police agency, the teenager who was booked has admitted to his crimes, saying he had acted out of curiosity. The teenager stated to police he had shared the links through Telegram’s secret chat function from August through October this year. The suspect denied any connection to illegal organizations in the crime, saying he acted alone, according to police.

Authorities are conducting a digital forensics examination of the suspect’s cellphone.

A preliminary investigation shows that thousands of people were in the group chat used to circulate the pornographic material. The encrypted messaging service is often used for illicit activities, wherein users repeatedly create and delete chat rooms to evade authorities’ efforts to track them.

Police also discovered signs of drug trafficking in the same group chat and are investigating to see if drugs were traded.

By Choi Ji-won (