A message published by Europol, the European Union police agency, on its Twitter account yesterday (12), confirmed a joint action by policemen from several countries, led by Germany, to dismantle the “largest darknet market in the world”, whose supposed operator, an Australian citizen, used it to facilitate the sale of drugs, stolen credit card data and malware.
At the time it was taken offline, the so-called DarkMarket had almost 500,000 users and more than 2,400 sellers, hosting about 320,000 transactions involving exchanging about $ 171 million (R $ 910 million) in cryptocurrencies. Police believe that a large part of the transactions represent the street trade in narcotics, forced to go online due to the pandemic.
The illegal bunker that hosted DarkNet in Traben-Trarbach, Germany (Source: State Criminal Police Rlp Handout / EPA / Reproduction)Source: State Criminal Police Rlp Handout / EPA
In addition to Europol, police forces from Germany, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the United Kingdom (the NCA) and the United States (DEA, FBI and IRS) participated in the operation. At the end of last week, police in the German city of Odenburg arrested the Australian citizen who is the alleged operator behind the market, near the border between Germany and Denmark.
The shutdown of this German cyber crime unit made it possible to track and seize more than 20 DarkMarket servers in Moldova and Ukraine. The authorities are now dedicated to processing the data stored on these servers in search of market moderators, sellers and buyers.
DarkMarket: world’s largest illegal dark web marketplace has been taken offline in an international operation involving ???????????????????????????. #DarkMarket had 500,000 users, 2,400 sellers and 320,000 transactions. We supported the takedown with operational analysis and coordination. pic.twitter.com/6ALq59mIZi
– Europol (@Europol) January 12, 2021