“Significant targets” all over the world finally arrested by Europol. A global crackdown against illegal trade on the dark web has led to the arrest of some 150 suspects, the Hague-based European police agency said on Tuesday, taking stock of the past year.
Several million euros in cash and bitcoins as well as drugs and weapons were seized in this operation called “DarkHunTOR” which followed the dismantling in January under the leadership of the German police force of DarkMarket, one of the main places market on the black cybermarket.
Operation DarkHunTOR “consisted of a series of separate but complementary actions in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States,” Europol said.
More than 26 million euros, 45 firearms …
In the United States, some 65 people were arrested in this operation which also led to, among other things, 47 arrests in Germany, 24 in the United Kingdom, four in Italy and four in the Netherlands. Several of those arrested “were targets of importance” for Europol. The police also seized 26.7 million euros in cash and electronic currencies as well as drugs, including 25,000 ecstasy tablets, and 45 firearms.
In Italy, the police also closed illegal marketplaces called “DeepSea” and “Berlusconi” which between them presented “more than 100,000 advertisements of illegal products”, according to Europol whose operation was coordinated with Eurojust, the European agency for judicial cooperation.
“The object of operations like this is to signal to criminals operating on the dark web (that) the law enforcement community has the means and international partnerships to expose them and hold them accountable for their activities. illegal, even in areas of the dark web, ”said deputy director of operations at Europol, Jean-Philippe Lecouffe.
In France, the PJ’s Sub-Directorate for the Fight against Cybercrime (SDLC) arrested in June and last September the administrator, moderator and trusted third party (escrow) of the Le Monde Parallèle site hosted on the network Tor. After identifying the people behind the nicknames of this narcotics resale forum, the investigators had made three arrests in the Grand-Est region, in Paris and in the south of France. They had seized 35,000 euros in Bitcoin and put this forum with 1,800 members offline.