DarkMarket, the world’s largest illegal market on the darknet, was shut down as a result of an international operation involving Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the UK (National Crime Agency) and the United States (DEA, FBI and IRS). Europol supported the showdown with ad hoc operational analysis and coordinated the cross-border joint efforts of the countries involved.
DarkMarket in numbers:
nearly 500,000 users;
more than 2,400 sellers;
more than 320,000 transactions;
more than 4,650 bitcoins and 12,800 monero were transferred.
At current rates, this equates to over 140 million euros. The sellers in the market mainly traded in all kinds of drugs and sold fake money, stolen or fake credit card information, anonymous SIM cards, and malware.
The Central Criminal Investigation Office in the German city of Oldenburg arrested an Australian citizen who is believed to be a DarkMarket operator near the German-Danish border over the weekend. The investigation, led by a cybercrime unit under the Koblenz prosecutor’s office, allowed officers to locate and shut down the market, shut down servers and take over the criminal infrastructure – more than 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine, backed by the German Federal Criminal Service Police Directorate (BKA). The stored data will give researchers new opportunities to further investigate moderators, sellers, and buyers.
Participation of Europol
Simplified international exchange of information.
Operative support of specialists is provided.
Provided advanced analytics that helped the German authorities identify and track down the alleged administrator.
Supported Germany in coordinating cross-border joint efforts with international partners.
Headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU member states in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious forms of organized crime. Europol also works with many non-EU partner countries and international organizations. From various threat assessments to intelligence gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to make Europe more secure.