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‘Largest illegal darknet marketplace’ DarkMarket taken offline
Authorities say the darknet platform had half of 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 Oldenburg said on Tuesday that they’d turn off what was “probably the biggest 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 just a 34-year-old Australian national.
Authorities say drugs, counterfeit money, stolen charge card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were all traded on the website, which had a half a million users and transacted business in cryptocurrencies equal to a benefit of €140 million ($170 million).
Oldenburg police said the raid took place over the weekend. “Investigators could actually shut down the darkode market – http://www.koloh.go.th/home/index.php/2017-02-07-07-02-18/-/index.php?option=com_kide and turn off the server on Monday,” prosecutors said.
DarkMarket’s bust wasn’t the initial for German authorities, which are finding illegal platform operators on German soil in recent years. In 2019, Koblenz prosecurots announced the discovery of darknet servers hosted from the former NATO bunker in a sleepy German town.
Authorities say the probe that uncovered DarkMarket involved a months-long international police force operation.
US agencies such as the FBI, DEA narcotics law enforcement 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 least 320,000 transactions were carried out via the market, with an increase of than 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero – two of the very most common cryptocurrencies – changing hands,” Oldenburg authorities added.
During the time of its closure, DarkMarket had a lot more than 2,400 vendors.
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