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Dark web raid: Almost 180 arrested as police seize $6.5m and 500kg of drugs

The Independent logo The Independent 22/09/2020 Daniel Wittenberg
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Police forces from around the world have made 179 arrests in a coordinated raid on dark web marketplaces.

More than $6.5million (£5million) in cash and virtual currencies have been seized in the operation, led by German federal officers, as well as 500kg of drugs and 64 guns.

The majority of the suspects, which include four Britons, were traced to the United States.

“The golden age of dark web marketplace is over,” Europol said in a statement.


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“Operations such as these highlight the capability of law enforcement to counter encryption and anonymity of dark web marketplaces. Police no longer only takes down such illegal marketplaces – they also chase down the criminals buying and selling illegal goods through such sites.”

The operation, known as DisrupTor, followed an investigation which found that the criminals engaged in tens of thousands of sales of illicit goods and services across the US and Europe.

Drugs discovered included fentanyl, oxycodone, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and MDMA.

Edvardas Sileris, head of Europol's cyber-crime centre, said: “Law enforcement is most effective when working together, and today's announcement sends a strong message to criminals selling or buying illicit goods on the dark web: the hidden internet is no longer hidden and your anonymous activity is not anonymous.”

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