Europol has stopped a marketplace on the dark web that had over 2,400 sellers and generated sales of more than 140 million euros.
The DarkMarket marketplace, which was considered the largest illegal marketplace on the dark web, was taken offline in a campaign coordinated by Europol. Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine and Great Britain worked together with the USA to seize the Marketplace. Now the Central Crime Inspection from Oldenburg has arrested an Australian man who is considered an operator of DarkMarket. DarkMarket’s servers were located and shut down while the criminal infrastructure was confiscated. The data obtained in this way should lead to further investigations. But the first findings already show how big the illegal marketplace was.
Over 140 million euros transferred in Bitcoin and Monero
During the joint operation for the takedown of the marketplace in the dark web according to Europol various authorities and departments involved. The National Crime Agency from Great Britain and the DEA, the FBI and the IRS from the USA played their part, while for example the Internet Crime Department of the Koblenz Attorney General and the Federal Criminal Police Office helped track down the servers of the illegal marketplace in Moldova and Ukraine . Europol has simplified the international exchange of information, provided operational support and provided additional analysis options for specific cases.
The cooperation has now led to DarkMarket being placed offline and confiscated. According to Europol’s information, this marketplace on the dark web was the largest of its kind. It had around 500,000 users and over 2,400 sellers. In addition, more than 320,000 transactions were detected. Over 4,650 Bitcoin and over 12,800 Monero units were transferred. The equivalent of the cryptocurrencies when the Europol report was published was over 140 million euros.
The sellers of the marketplace have sold various drugs and counterfeit money, but also stolen or falsified credit card data, malware and anonymous SIM cards. After the seizure of this marketplace, Europol hopes to use the data that may still be able to be obtained from the servers to find out more about the operators, sellers and buyers of and at DarkMarket. Europol strives to face crime in the dark web and already has a dedicated dark web team in the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) established.
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