In a joint international operation, law enforcement officers from nine countries arrested 179 people involved in the sale and purchase of illegal goods and services on the darknet. According to law enforcement officers, "the golden age of the darknet is over."
The operation, called Operation Disruptor, was led by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA). It was also attended by the National Police of the Netherlands, the National Crime Agency (NCA), the US Department of Justice, the FBI, Europol, etc.
Operation Disruptor follows the closure of one of the largest darknet marketplaces, the Wall Street Market, last year. Law enforcement officials were able to identify Wall Street Market users, which also allowed them to identify users of other underground marketplaces, including AlphaBay, Dream Nightmare, Empire, White House, DeepSea, and Dark Market.
During the operation, 179 people were arrested, 121 of them in the United States. 42 arrests were made in Germany, eight in the Netherlands, four in the UK, three in Austria and one in Sweden. In total, law enforcement officers seized more than $ 6.5 million in cash and cryptocurrency from the arrested.
“The golden age of the darknet market is over. Operations like this demonstrate the ability of law enforcement to deal with the encryption and anonymity of dark web black markets. The police not only shut down illegal marketplaces, but also track criminals who buy and sell illegal goods on such sites. The Darknet is not a fairy tale, sellers and buyers can no longer hide in the shadows, ”Europol said in a notice.