Europol recently busted two dark web drug markets in a global sting, seizing six-figure amounts of Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrency, as well as loads of narcotics.
According to Europol, “[The Wall Street Market] was the world’s second largest dark web market, enabling the trade in drugs (including cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and amphetamines), stolen data, fake documents, and malicious software. The illegal platform was exclusively accessible via the Tor network in the so-called Darknet and aimed at international trade in criminal goods.”
Over €550,000 ($613,600) in cash, six-figure sums of Cryptocurrency, vehicles, as well as computers and related data storage devices were seized. Bitcoin and privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero have reportedly preferred payment methods. Authorities arrested three suspects in Germany with connection to the site. Two of its highest-selling narcotic suppliers were also caught in the US.
Finland’s feds disrupted the other marketplace, Silkkietie (also known as the Valhalla Marketplace) earlier this year. They labeled it one of the oldest and internationally best-known Tor trade portals. It had been online since 2013.
Investigators followed Silkkietie’s drug-traders to other illegal sites hosted by Tor (like the Wall Street Market), which led to their arrest. Finnish customs reportedly made a “significant Bitcoin seizure” in the process, as well as Silkkietie’s inventory.
The operation was supported by the Dutch, Finnish, and French national police. Several US government agencies were also involved, including the FBI, DEA, IRS and the Department of Justice.
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