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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 charge 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 had turn off that which was “probably the greatest 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, darkode market – http://www.backpagenation.com/user/profile/82216 which had a fifty per cent 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 over the weekend. “Investigators were able to turn off industry and turn fully off the server on Monday,” prosecutors said.
DarkMarket’s bust wasn’t the first 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 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, alongside police from Australia, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine and Moldova, with Europol playing a “coordinating role.”
“A total of at least 320,000 transactions were carried out via industry, 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 more than 2,400 vendors.
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