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German Law Enforcement Shut Down Largest Global Darknet Marketplace

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On Tuesday, a German law enforcement in Koblenz successfully executed the operation that took down a dark web marketplace,” operating stealthily under the radar with different users from around the world transacting P2P business on anonymity.

The police discovered that an Australian native orchestrated the illegal dark web platform they considered the world’s largest “darknet” marketplace.

The “dark web” is that part of the web that can only be accessed with an authorization issued by the operator or with the use of sophisticated software that conceals the identity of its users.

The German law enforcement shuttered the marketplace that recorded a steady increase of active users, which amounts to roughly half a million active users conducting business in the under the radar that accepts all kinds of high-priced marketable element for trade, such as hard drugs, stolen credit cards data, malware, and stolen governments data and many more.

The police department revealed that the dark market experienced a surge in operations due to the uprise of the 2020 pandemic – there was a major shift in the narcotic street business to online-based dark-markets.

After an organized raid at the Danish border, the police arrested the alleged 34-year-old Australian native that owned the illegal marketplace dubbed “DarkMarket,” prosecutors disclosed.

After a long stretch of investigations and good policing, the German authorities also discovered trails of existing dark markets and servers in Ukraine and Moldova – the police confiscated all the servers.

Prosecutors said “we can arrest the alleged operator of the suspected world’s largest illegal marketplace on the darknet, the DarkMarket, at the weekend. Investigators were able to shut down the marketplace and turned off the server on Monday.

“investigators expect to use the data saved there to launch new probes against the buyers, moderators, and0 sellers of the marketplace,” the prosecutor continued.

Over time, the illegal web marketplace has facilitated over 2,400 global vendors transacting with untraceable currency and accounts worth over 320 000 dealings. The police valued the entire transactions worth over $170 million (approximately 140 million euros) – consisting of 4,650 Bitcoin deals and 12,800 Monero deals, including other kinds of cryptocurrency.

The principal suspect was brought in for questioning but declined to utter a word even when he was before the judge; he did not say a word about his illegal business. However, he has been detained based on pre-trial for the time being.

Since the DarkMarket constituted a global operation that comprised of millions of users, international intelligence agencies are beginning to intervene in the case to determine information about the structure of the dark web marketplace – including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), International Revenue Service (IRS) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

For instance, the FBI, was the first international agency to respond to the update looking for potential criminals that would make its “most wanted list”.

However, international intelligence agencies further probed the German local police investigation finding in unison with other law enforcement agencies from Ukraine and Moldova and the European Police Agency (Europol).

The German local police said they discovered the DarkMarket operations while investigating Cyberbunker, a Dutch web-hosting service provider.

Overtime, the police had Cyberbunker under its radar for close observation. They believe the web-hosting company is the sanctuary for cybercrimes. At some point, they once hosted the DarkMarket on their servers.

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