The US Justice Department has announced the seizure of one of the world's largest child abuse websites..

The site, which was called 'Welcome to Video', was hosted on the so-called "darknet" and funded by Bitcoin.

A 23-year-old South Korean man has been indicted for operating the website and 337 site users have been arrested and charged in countries around the world, including in Ireland.

Authorities described the website as the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content.

Eight terabytes of child sexual exploitation videos have been recovered, one of the largest seizures of its kind. 

The images contained more than 250,000 unique videos.

The operation led to the rescue of at least 23 child victims in the US, Spain and the UK, who were being actively abused by the users of the site.

"Darknet sites that profit from the sexual exploitation of children are among the most vile and reprehensible forms of criminal behaviour," said Assistant Attorney General Brian A Benczkowski of the US Justice Department.

"Today's announcement demonstrates that the Department of Justice remains firmly committed to working closely with our partners in South Korea and around the world to rescue child victims and bring to justice the perpetrators of these abhorrent crimes."

The 'Welcome to Video' website has been replaced with a seizure page, which lists Ireland as one of the countries where arrests have taken place.