Published: Wed, January 13, 2021
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German police take down ‘world’s largest darknet marketplace’

German police take down ‘world’s largest darknet marketplace’

The illegal internet market specialized in the sales of drugs, counterfeit money, stolen or forged credit card information, anonymous SIM cards, and off-the-shelf malware.

In total, it's thought DarkMarket saw over $170 million change hands in the form of Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrencies (over 4,650 bitcoin and 12,800 monero).

Authorities say the probe that uncovered DarkMarket involved a months-long global law enforcement operation.

Police forces from seven countries have taken down DarkMarket, the world's largest illegal dark web marketplace, and arrested a 34-year-old Australian believed to be its mastermind.

Europol, which coordinated the policing operation, said the website had nearly 500,000 users including 2,400 sellers.

More than 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine were seized as part of the operation. The authorities mentioned that an Australian citizen has been arrested near the German-Danish border as further investigations are underway. Officials plan to use the confiscated database from the servers to find the alleged moderators, sellers, and buyers of the marketplace.

The prime suspect was brought before a judge but declined to speak.

German investigators were assisted in their months-long probe by United States authorities and by Australian, British, Danish, Swiss, Ukrainian and Moldovan police.

Europol, Europe´s police agency, played a "coordinating role".

Three Dutchmen, three Germans and a Bulgarian are believed to have provided the infrastructure for illegal online activities before they were arrested in September 2019.

The secret "darknet" network includes websites that can be accessed only with specific software or authorisations, ensuring anonymity for users.

The Wall Street Market had 1.15 million users and 5,400 sellers of drugs, malware, and other criminal goods.

Oldenburg police said the raid took place over the weekend.

The most notorious dark web marketplace was called Silk Road, but it was forcibly shutdown back in 2013.

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