- DOJ, FBI Announce 179 Arrests, $6.5 Million Seized in ‘Darknet’ Opioid Crackdown
- Received payment in crypto and dollars
- Darknet worth a million
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DOJ, FBI Announce 179 Arrests, $6.5 Million Seized in ‘Darknet’ Opioid Crackdown
Police arrest 179 darknet drug dealers
Law enforcers have covered 179 darknet drug dealers
Criminals accepted payment in digital currencies and dollars
About 1 million BTC rotate on the darknet
International consortium of news organizations developing transparency standards.
A Coalition of Law Enforcement Offices has carried out a comprehensive operation to identify and arrest drug dealers working for cryptocurrency on the darknet. 179 suspects were arrested and are awaiting a court decision.
Received payment in crypto and dollars
Law enforcers from the Dutch National Police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust and various US government agencies, led by the German Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt), carried out a large-scale operation DisrupTor. The main goal is to identify drug traffickers who operate in the darknet space, and to block the channels of drug transmission, both within the country and abroad..
“As a result, 179 suppliers were arrested in Europe and the United States, who were selling prohibited goods to tens of thousands of people. More than $ 6.5 million were seized in both cash and virtual currency, as well as about 500 kilograms of drugs, including fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA and drugs containing addictive substances; and 64 units of firearms ”, – according to the official statement of Eroyust.
In total, 179 drug traffickers from the USA (121), Germany (42), the Netherlands (8), Great Britain (4), Austria (3) and Sweden (1) were detained. Criminals received payments from customers in dollars or digital currency to hide their whereabouts. However, modern technologies can detect cyber criminals, even if they use anonymous browsers and fake accounts..
“Law enforcement is most effective when working together, and today’s announcement sends a strong message to criminals selling or buying illegal goods on the darknet: the hidden Internet will no longer hide your identity. Law enforcement agencies strive to track down criminals no matter where they operate – whether on the street or behind a computer screen, ”said the head of the European Cybercrime Center Europol (EC3) Edwardas Šileris.
Note that this is the second large-scale operation to combat darknet participants. Last year, law enforcement officers managed to close one of the largest dark markets, the Wall Street Market..
Darknet worth a million
According to the resource Chainalysis, more than half a million bitcoins rotate in the darknet space. Most often, cryptocurrencies are used for payments for prohibited goods, including pirated programs and computer viruses.
“The illegal markets currently have 585,000 BTC in circulation, the scammers own 99,000 BTC, the stolen funds amount to another 205,000 BTC, and everyone else holds an additional 3,000 BTC – a total of 892,000 BTC,” Chainalysis said in a statement..
Another marketplace operating on the darknet, Empire Market, unexpectedly went offline on August 22. According to preliminary data, a DDoS attack was carried out on the platform, but the exact reason for the interruptions in work is still not known. Moreover, rumors spread in the community that the marketplace team simply pocketed the users’ money and disappeared. This marketplace has gone offline more than once, and the admins also periodically disappeared from the radar, but then they were always unexpectedly announced. But this time “vacation” was delayed.
Marketplaces on the darknet often end up in scandal and are sometimes shut down by governments. This was the case with the infamous Silk Road platform and Wall Street Market. Some just take users’ money and disappear, like Evolution. According to @DarkDotFail, in 2019, after the closure of the Wall Street Market, eight such exit scams occurred on the darknet..
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