Police in nine countries have arrested 288 people linked to a major illegal trading site on the dark web, a difficult-to-access part of the internet. They were probably involved in the purchase and sale of drugs, says the European police organization Europol. Ten people have been arrested in the Netherlands.
The joint police action under the name ‘SpecTor’ stems from the seizure of the Monopoly Market site. That illegal trading place on the dark web was shut down by the German authorities in December 2021.
850 kilograms of drugs
The police seized nearly 51 million euros during the arrests, as well as 850 kilograms of drugs and 117 firearms. Most arrests were made in the United States (153), the United Kingdom (55) and Germany (52).
More arrests are not ruled out, because the German police also obtained lists of buyers during the seizure. Thousands of Monopoly Market customers are now at risk of prosecution, according to Europol.
“We continue to send out the signal that criminals can imagine themselves to be anonymous on the dark web, but are not,” warns Nan van de Coevering of the Cyber Enabled Crime Team of the Dutch police. “Using the dark web for criminal activities is a criminal offense and cannot be without consequences.”
- German justice rolls up ‘largest dark web marketplace in the world’
- Police take online marketplace for drugs and weapons offline
- Dark web not as anonymous as you think: eleven suspects in the picture