Dark web drugs raid leads to 179 arrests

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Graphic showing little red riding hood and a wolfsymbol copyrightEuropol
symbol captionThe darkish internet “isn’t a fairy story” stated Europol
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Police forces world wide have seized greater than $6.5m (£5m) in money and digital currencies, in addition to medication and weapons in a co-ordinated raid on darkish internet marketplaces.

Some 179 other people had been arrested throughout Europe and the United States, and 500kg (1,102lb) of substances and 64 weapons confiscated.

It ends the “golden age” of those underground marketplaces, Europol stated.

“The hidden web is now not hidden”, stated Edvardas Sileris, head of Europol’s cyber-crime centre.

The operation, referred to as DisrupTor, used to be a joint effort between the Division of Justice and Europol. It’s believed that the criminals engaged in tens of hundreds of gross sales of illicit items and services and products throughout the United States and Europe.

Medication seized together with fentanyl, oxycodone, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and MDMA.

Of the ones arrested 119 had been based totally in the United States, two in Canada, 42 in Germany, 8 within the Netherlands, 4 in the United Kingdom, 3 in Austria and one in Sweden.

Police are getting higher at focused on operations at the darkish internet – part of the web this is obtainable handiest thru specialized gear. This newest raid follows the takedown of the Wall Boulevard marketplace closing yr, which used to be then considered the second-largest unlawful on-line marketplace at the darkish internet.

Mr Sileris stated: “Legislation enforcement is best when operating in combination, and lately’s announcement sends a powerful message to criminals promoting or purchasing illicit items at the darkish internet: the hidden web is now not hidden and your nameless process isn’t nameless.”

“With the spike in opioid-related overdose deaths right through the Covid-19 pandemic, we recognise that lately’s announcement is vital and well timed,” stated FBI director Christopher Wray.

Kacey Clark, a researcher at safety company Virtual Shadows stated: “That is every other additional blow to organised cybercrime. The operation which took down the AlphaBay and Hansa marketplaces 3 years in the past spooked cyber criminals, because it led to many apply up prosecutions as legislation enforcement pieced proof in combination – continuously many months later.

“Wall Boulevard marketplace emerged from those ashes and used to be essentially the most vital one in lifestyles on the time. It will seem that legislation enforcement has adopted the similar development and for this reason we’re seeing arrests lately.”

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