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    ‘Largest illegal darknet marketplace’ DarkMarket taken offline

    Authorities say the darknet platform had half a million users, where drugs, counterfeit money, stolen charge card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were traded. The suspected operator was arrested in Germany.

    German prosecutors in the cities of Koblenz and Oldenburg said on Tuesday that they had power down the thing that was “probably the biggest illegal marketplace on the Darknet ” called DarkMarket and arrested the man believed to work it near Germany’s border with Denmark.

    The detained man, considered to be DarkMarket’s operator, is a 34-year-old Australian national.

    Authorities say drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were all traded on the webpage, which had a half a million users and transacted business in cryptocurrencies comparable to a benefit of €140 million ($170 million).

    Oldenburg police said the raid took place within the weekend. “Investigators could actually shut down the marketplace and turn off the server on Monday,” prosecutors said.
    International probe

    DarkMarket’s bust wasn’t the first for German authorities, which have found illegal platform operators on German soil in recent years. In 2019, Koblenz prosecurots announced the discovery of darknet servers hosted from a former NATO bunker in a sleepy German town.

    Authorities say the probe that uncovered DarkMarket involved a months-long international police operation.

    US agencies just like the FBI, DEA narcotics law enforcement division and IRS tax authority all contributed to the investigation, along with police from Australia, Britain, dark0de reborn Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine and Moldova, with Europol playing a “coordinating role.”

    “An overall total of at the very least 320,000 transactions were carried out via industry, with increased than 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero – two of the very most common cryptocurrencies – changing hands,” Oldenburg authorities added.

    At the time of its closure, DarkMarket had more than 2,400 vendors.

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