Authorities in seven countries and Europol have jointly taken down Darkmarket, one of the largest darknet marketplaces. The action was taken after the alleged marketplace operator in Germany was arrested.

Authorities shut down Darkmarket

Europol announced on Tuesday that darknet marketplace Darkmarket has been closed. The announcement details:

Darkmarket, the world’s largest illegal marketplace on the dark web, has been taken offline during an international operation involving Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the United Kingdom (the National Crime Agency) and the US (DEA, FBI and IRS) .

According to Europol, Darkmarket had almost 500,000 users and more than 2,400 sellers. It had more than 320,000 transactions, with “more than 4,650 bitcoin and 12,800 monero transferred.”

“At the current rate, this corresponds to an amount of more than € 140 million [$171 million], ”Wrote Europol. “The sellers in the market mainly traded all kinds of drugs and sold counterfeit money, stolen or falsified credit card information, anonymous SIM cards and malware.”

Alleged operator arrested

The alleged Darkmarket operator was arrested last weekend by the Central Criminal Investigation Department in the German city of Oldenburg, near the German-Danish border.

Officials from the Koblenz public prosecutor’s cybercrime unit have located and closed the marketplace. They shut down the marketplace’s servers and “seized the criminal infrastructure – more than 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine, supported by the German Federal Investigation Service (BKA).” Europol added:

The stored data gives researchers new leads to further investigate moderators, sellers and buyers.

Europol has recently shut down another major darknet marketplace. In collaboration with Finnish Customs (Tulli), the authorities shut down the Sipulimarket darknet marketplace in December and seized its bitcoin.

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