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Four Vietnamese men behind child porn site have jail terms cut

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 10:53 GMT+7
Four Vietnamese men behind child porn site have jail terms cut
Four Vietnamese men appear at a court in Hanoi on June 18, 2018 for running a child porn site. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Four Vietnamese men who have been slapped with jail terms of up to 48 months for spreading pornographic content by operating a child porn website have had their sentences slashed on appeal.

The group’s leader Nguyen Duy Hai and the other accused, Do Van An, Nguyen Xuan Tung, and Tran Chi Trung, first appeared in court in Dong Da District, Hanoi in March.

They were found guilty of “spreading pornographic content” and handed jail terms of between 36 and 48 months. All of them appealed against their sentences.

An appellate court in Hanoi on Monday approved the men’s appeals to have their sentences lowered to between 24 and 42 months, with Hai getting the highest sentence due to his role as the mastermind.

Hai, 25, began researching methods of making money online in July 2015 when he noticed many people were willing to spend money on porn sites to watch content involving the sexual abuse of minors, according to his indictment.

Hai started out alone, creating a website to upload child porn videos, using one administrator account and many clone accounts.

He also placed ads on foreign forums and websites offering similar content to increase traffic to his page.

Visitors who wanted to view the site’s content had to sign up for an account and pay a subscription fee of up to US$16.99 per month. A slight discount was offered to those who subscribed for longer periods and paid up front.

Hai admitted to having membership fees sent to a foreign bank account before they were transferred to his girlfriend’s account in Vietnam as a way to avoid police detection.

Tempted by Hai’s illicit business, his friends An, Tung, and Trung asked to join and became partners in running the child porn site.

Hai directly operated four websites, while his partners were in charge of 11 websites that offered the same content, including around 4,400 porn videos.

At the time of their arrest in late 2016, the men had garnered a membership base of over 40,000, including 600 paid members.

They had made more than VND3.2 billion ($140,000) from the business before being busted by law enforcement.

The money was partially used to re-invest into the website’s development, while the rest was split among the four.

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Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News

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