A joint international operation named Dark HunTOR which was conducted by law enforcement across the world resulted in the arrest of 150 suspects allegedly involved in selling and buying illicit goods in the DarkMarket marketplace.
The authorities arrested 65 suspects in the United States, 47 in Germany, 24 in the United Kingdom, 4 in Italy, 4 in the Netherlands, 3 in France, 2 in Switzerland, and one in Bulgaria.
DarkMarket, the world’s largest black marketplace on the dark web was taken offline in January as a result of an international operation conducted by law enforcement from Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the United Kingdom (the National Crime Agency), and the USA (DEA, FBI, and IRS) with the support of the Europol.
During the shutdown of DarkMarket, it had almost 500000 users, more than 2400 sellers; over 320000 transactions and more than 4650 bitcoins and 12800 Monero transferred. The overall transactions correspond to a sum of more than €140 million.
The online cybercriminals gathered at the marketplace and traded all kinds of drugs, counterfeit money, stolen or counterfeit credit card details, anonymous SIM cards and malware.
The authorities seized more than €26.7 million (USD 31 million) in cash and virtual currencies, and also 234 kg of drugs and 45 firearms. The police seized 152 kg of amphetamine, 27 kg of opioids and over 25000 ecstasy pills.
Europol stated that Operation Dark HunTOR stems from the takedown of DarkMarket and several of the suspects were considered as High-Value Targets by Europol. The Dark HunTOR investigation is still ongoing.
The Italian police also shut down the DeepSea and Berlusconi dark web marketplaces as part of the Dark HunTOR operation. These two marketplaces had more than 100000 announcements of illegal products. The authorities arrested four administrators and seized €3.6 million in cryptocurrencies.
Image Credits : ZDNet