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Vietnam nabs child-porn producing South Korean teen wanted by Interpol

By Pham Du   January 22, 2022 | 09:42 pm PT
Vietnam nabs child-porn producing South Korean teen wanted by Interpol
Park Seongho (in black mask) is taken to a police station for allegedly producing and distributing sexual exploitation contents of underage girls, December 2021. Photo courtesy of the police
An internationally wanted teenager for producing sexual content with underage girls has been arrested in HCMC and handed over to South Korean police.

Park Seongho, 16, was put on the Interpol’s wanted list on July 22, 2021 for producing and distributing sexual content featuring children. The suspect was said to be "especially dangerous" and hiding in Vietnam.

Seongho is said to have used Facebook to chat with multiple girls under 16 in South Korea back in March and April 2021. After gaining their trust, he requested the girls to send him sexual images and videos through the Internet. He edited the images and videos and uploaded them onto porn sites for profit. Several families saw their daughters' images online and decided to press charges, but South Korean police said Seongho could not be reached.

In November 2021, Vietnamese police received a wanted order for Seongho with only his name, age, place of residence, crime and a black-and-white image with no clear face. There was virtually no clue at the time. They could neither ascertain whether the suspect was indeed hiding in Vietnam, nor figure out his social connections.

After around a month of investigation, police suspected that Seongho's parents were living in a southern Vietnam location, like Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong or Dong Nai. In December 2021, police figured out that Seongho's parents were living in an apartment in HCMC's District 7, but he was not living with them.

After further investigations, police concluded Seongho was likely to be hiding in Vietnam and identified him as around 1m75 tall with tattoo on his arm, living vagrantly and unable to speak Vietnamese well.

"Seongho entered Vietnam in 2017 with his parents, but he lived here and there and constantly moved in between different places in southern Vietnam. Knowing that he was internationally wanted, he constantly covered his tracks," a police officer said.

Police suspected Seongho would eventually visit his parents at some point, so they waited to ambush him, with plainclothes officers on the job.

On December 19, 2021, over 10 police officers cased the apartment complex and waited. When they saw a man walkoff a cab and press the elevator button to the floor where Seongho's parents were staying, they established that he was the fugitive.

As he stepped off the elevator, police officers apprehended him and asked for his IDs. He was arrested and handed over to South Korean police two days later at the Tan Son Nhat Airport.

 
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