DarkMarket, purportedly the world’s biggest dark web marketplace, has been taken down by a Europol-coordinated international operation, as indicated by authorities. Europol upheld the takedown with specialist operational analysis and coordinated the cross-border collaborative effort of the nations.
The Central Criminal Investigation Department in the German city of Oldenburg arrested an Australian resident who is the alleged operator of DarkMarket, close to the German-Danish border over the weekend. The investigation, which was driven by the cybercrime unit of the Koblenz Public Prosecutor’s Office, permitted officials to find and close the marketplace, switch off the servers and hold onto the criminal framework – over 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine upheld by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The stored information will give investigators new prompts to further investigate moderators, sellers, and buyers.
Before its closure, DarkMarket facilitated near 500,000 clients and had encouraged more than 320,000 transactions, as indicated by Europol. The dark web marketplace exchanged everything from drugs and counterfeit cash to stolen Mastercard details and malware. As per Europol’s estimate, the site exchanged what might be compared to €140 million in today’s money, in a blend of bitcoin and monero. European authorities intend to utilize held onto DarkMarket servers from Ukraine and Moldova to investigate the buyers and dealers who utilized the site for criminal transactions.
DarkMarket’s bust was not the first for German authorities, which have discovered illegal platform operators on German soil lately. In 2019, Koblenz prosecutors declared the disclosure of darknet servers facilitated from a previous NATO bunker in a lethargic German town. Authorities state the probe that revealed DarkMarket included a months-in length international law enforcement operation. US agencies like the FBI, DEA narcotics law enforcement division, and IRS tax authority all added to the investigation, alongside police from Australia, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Moldova, with Europol playing a “coordinating role.”
DarkMarket is the most recent dark web marketplace taken down since the Silk Road bust back in 2015 — in recent years, international law enforcement operations had additionally brought down AlphaBay and Wall Street Market, which were likewise used to sell drugs and other illegal products.
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