FBI’s Operation SaboTor Seizes $4.5M In Crypto During Darknet Drug Bust
Recent Dark Web Investigation By FBI Reveals $4.5 Million Seizure of Funds
Cryptocurrency has made its way into the dark web on many occasions, and one of the latest reports on these transactions comes from the FBI. In a press release on March 26th, the FBI revealed the results of Operation SaboTor via the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE). The operation specifically went after the organizations participating in drug trafficking on the Darknet. As a result of their work, approximately $4.5 million in crypto was seized, according to reports from Hard Fork.
The official report states that there was a total of 61 arrests, and the authorities managed to shut down 50 accounts on the Darknet that were being used for illegal activity. Amongst the 65 search warrants used in this case, along with the cryptocurrency, the FBI seized 299.5 kilograms of drugs, 51 firearms, $2.48 million in cash, and $40,000 worth of gold. They also performed 122 interviews during this process.
At this point, the specific cryptocurrencies involved have not been made public. The operation went from January 11th to March 12th, predominantly targeting the “opioid epidemic,” aiming to find the major opioid vendors on the dark web to stop their trading once and for all. The FBI coordinated their efforts with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The director of the FBI, Christopher Way, said that the most effective approach is when these various forms of law enforcement work together.
As more operations like SaboTor arise, it will become harder for these criminals to continue with their illicit activities on the dark web. The authorities are learning the way that they work with further investigations, which makes it easier to police the technology that they use. Catherine De Bolle, the Europol Executive Director, commented that the dark web is not “as dark as you think.” Even though it looks like the criminals can hide their activity, there is no way to hide from the work of law enforcement. The statements from De Bolle follow how the US government is trying to eliminate anonymity in the crypto industry, and that the EU is establishing regulations that reduce anonymity as well.