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August 25, 2021 at 3:54 am #51146
‘Largest illegal darknet marketplace’ DarkMarket taken offline
Authorities say the darknet platform had half a million users, where drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were traded. The suspected operator was arrested in Germany.
German prosecutors in the cities of Koblenz and darkode reborn Oldenburg said on Tuesday that they’d power down that which was “probably the largest illegal marketplace on the Darknet ” called DarkMarket and arrested the person believed to use it near Germany’s border with Denmark.
The detained man, thought to be DarkMarket’s operator, is really a 34-year-old Australian national.
Authorities say drugs, counterfeit money, stolen bank card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were all traded on the website, which had a half of a million users and transacted business in cryptocurrencies comparable to a value of €140 million ($170 million).
Oldenburg police said the raid took place within the weekend. “Investigators could power down the market and turn off the server on Monday,” prosecutors said.
DarkMarket’s bust was not the initial for German authorities, which have found illegal platform operators on German soil in recent years. In 2019, Koblenz prosecurots announced the discovery of darknet servers hosted from a former NATO bunker in a sleepy German town.
Authorities say the probe that uncovered DarkMarket involved a months-long international police operation.
US agencies just like the FBI, DEA narcotics police force division and IRS tax authority all contributed to the investigation, along side police from Australia, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine and Moldova, with Europol playing a “coordinating role.”
“A complete of at the very least 320,000 transactions were carried out via the market, with more than 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero – two of the most common cryptocurrencies – changing hands,” Oldenburg authorities added.
At the time of its closure, DarkMarket had more than 2,400 vendors.