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  • amandaodowd7
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    ‘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 Oldenburg said on Tuesday that they’d turn off what was “probably the largest illegal marketplace on the Darknet ” called DarkMarket and arrested the person believed to operate it near Germany’s border with Denmark.

    The detained man, considered to be DarkMarket’s operator, is just a 34-year-old Australian national.

    Authorities say drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were all traded on the internet site, which had a half of a million users and transacted business in cryptocurrencies equal to a price of €140 million ($170 million).

    Oldenburg police said the raid took place over the weekend. “Investigators could actually shut down the market and turn fully off the server on Monday,” prosecutors said.
    International probe

    DarkMarket’s bust wasn’t the first for German authorities, which have discovered 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 law enforcement 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.”

    “An overall total of at the least 320,000 transactions were carried out via the darkode market, with more than 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero – two of the very common cryptocurrencies – changing hands,” Oldenburg authorities added.

    At the time of its closure, DarkMarket had a lot more than 2,400 vendors.

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