Worldwide Dark Web Drug Bust Leads To Seizure Of Over $600,000 In Cash And Cryptocurrencies

Worldwide Dark Web Drug Bust Leads To Seizure Of Over $600,000 In Cash And Cryptocurrencies

Over $600k was seized in the bust of two separate dark web marketplaces, thanks to the collaboration between Germany, the US, and other international authorities. How anonymous is the dark web? How safe are investors now?

  • Dark web drug bust of two dark web marketplaces Bitcoin, Monero, fiat currency, and narcotics, valued at $600k.
  • The success of the investigation is due to “law enforcement cooperation at an international level,” says Europol executive director.

The dark web has been a hotbed for illicit activities for as long as it has existed, and cryptocurrency has been deeply tied in with it, especially with privacy coins like Monero. Recently, police managed to bust two major drug markets in the dark web with a global sting, according to reports from The Next Web’s Hard Fork. In the sting, the authorities seized both Bitcoin and Monero, along with tons of fiat currency and narcotics. The seizure also included vehicles, computers, and data storage devices.

Europol released a statement, saying that the bust involved the Wall Street market, which is the second-largest dark web market worldwide. With it, cybercriminals have been able to participate in drug trading, stealing data, falsifying documents, and using malware.

Europol added,

“The illegal platform was exclusively accessible via the Tor network in the so-called Darknet and aimed at international trade in criminal goods.”

Investigators found over 1.15 million registered accounts, and over 63,000 offers were placed by drug dealers on the market.

Monero appeared to be the preferred payment method for the marketplace, considering that the token is privacy oriented. Based on the report, it appears that the officials involved with the marketplace were receiving 2% to 6% in commissions for sales. In Germany, three suspects were arrested for alleged connections with the website, while the two narcotic suppliers that are ranked as high sellers were found within the United States.

The other marketplace, Silkkietie (a.k.a. the Valhalla Marketplace), was discovered by Finland’s federal officials. According to their reports, this is one of the best-known Tor trade portals around the world, as well as the oldest, remaining live since 2013.

Upon investigation, the drug traders from the marketplace journeyed to other illegal sites that Tor hosts as well, including the Wall Street Market. These actions ultimately led the marketplace to be caught in their activities, and Finnish customs has already reported both a “significant Bitcoin seizure” and a seizure of the inventory of Silkkietie that are in progress.

Both international and US-based authorities made this drug bust possible, including the French, Dutch, and Finnish police, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the IRS, the postal inspections service, and others. The executive director of Europol, Catherine De Bolle, said that the discoveries and investigations involving all of these entities are proof of “the importance of law enforcement cooperation at an international level.” De Bolle added that, though anonymity is promoted on the dark web, this platform is not nearly as under the radar as anyone believes.

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