Europol on Tuesday said it shut down DarkMarket, the world’s largest online marketplace for illicit goods, as part of an international operation involving Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldova, Ukraine, the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
At the time of closure, DarkMarket is believed to have had 500,000 users and more than 2,400 vendors, with over 320,000 transactions resulting in the transfer of more than 4,650 bitcoin and 12,800 monero — a sum total of €140 million ($170 million).
The illegal internet market specialized in the sales of drugs, counterfeit money, stolen or forged credit card information, anonymous SIM cards, and off-the-shelf malware.
In addition, the months-long intelligence operation also resulted in the arrest of a 34-year-old Australian national near the German-Danish border over the weekend, who is alleged to be the mastermind behind DarkMarket.
According to The Guardian, DarkMarket came to light in the course of a major investigation against the web hosting service CyberBunker, which served as the web host for The Pirate Bay and WikiLeaks in the past.
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