German feds in the cities of Koblenz and Oldenburg have shut down the DarkMarket that happened to be one of the largest illegal dark web markets in the world. The cops have arrested the man who was believed to be running the illicit site on the dark web near the German-Danish border. The detained accused is believed to be the operator of the DarkMarket, who is an Australian national aged 34 years.
The German authorities have revealed that the DarkMarket platform promoted the sale of various illegal goods such as drugs of all kinds, stolen credit card data, malware and anonymous sim cards. The darknet marketplace had half a million users who had transacted business in Cryptocurrencies equivalent to €140 million ($170 million).
The Oldenburg police have mentioned that the raid took place on the weekend.
“Investigators were able to shut down the marketplace and turn off the server on Monday,” prosecutors said.
They had called it a months-long international law enforcement operation. When the DarkMarket was shut down, it had nearly 500,000 users and over 2,400 vendors.
“A total of at least 320,000 transactions were carried out via the marketplace, with more than 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero — two of the most common cryptocurrencies — changing hands,” prosecutors said.
The cops were successful in seizing over 20 servers that were constantly in use in Ukraine and Moldova.
“Investigators expect to use the data saved there to launch new probes against the moderators, sellers and buyers of the marketplace,” prosecutors said.
The 34-year-old prime suspect had been brought before the judge, but he refused to speak. He had been placed in pre-trial detention.
The massive international operation had been coordinated by DEA narcotics law enforcement division, The American FBI and IRS tax authority. Others who had backed the operation included police from Britain, Australia, Denmark, Ukraine, Switzerland, Moldova along with Europol.
The DarkMarket was the second darknet platform that had been operating under the name. The original website had been taken down back in 2008 by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. The law enforcement agencies have been able to gain their access to the users’ data leading to 60 arrests worldwide.
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