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  • essieaultman77
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    Dark web ‘Cyberbunker’trial breaks new ground

    A Cold War bunker in a small German town housed darknet internet servers that facilitated illegal online activity. The group allegedly operating the servers are on trial — but are they in charge of 250,000 crimes?

    Germany’s largest-ever cybercrime trial began this week amid much media fanfare at the district court in the town of Trier. The courtroom was packed. Defendants and their lawyers were wearing face masks and separated by plastic screens.

    On the initial day the judge took two hours to learn out the charges. On the 2nd, three of the eight defendants got the opportunity to tell their life stories.

    The eight people — four Dutch, three German and one Bulgarian — worked at the Cyberbunker data center at a disused military bunker in the pretty village of Traben-Trarbach, northwest of Trier.

    They are now faced with aiding and abetting criminals in some 249,000 illegal online transactions involving drugs, contract killings, money laundering and images of child abuse worth countless euros.

    In September 2019, an important police operation that were in the works for half ten years raided the bunker and closed it down. Key members of the group were arrested.

    The alleged ringleader of the operation, 60-year-old Dutchman Johan X.*, remained impassive and silent through the first days of questioning, playing the testimony of the first three defendants.

    Dutchman Michiel R.* who worked as a “manager” at the bunker, darkode market summed up his checkered job history and gave a tearful description of his close relationship with his mother. Jaqueline B.*, a German who acted as a “bookkeeper” for the operation, spoke of her childhood in Cameroon growing up since the daughter of an undesirable farmer. A 21-year old German IT expert who spent a year working in tech support team described his solitary life and history of depression.

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