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The US Justice Department announced the largest dark web bust it has ever helped carry out, seizing more than 1,100 pounds of drugs from 179 alleged online dealers around the world. The US worked with police in Europe to carry out the investigation, seizing more than $6.5 million in cash and virtual currencies.
Operation DisrupTor — named after the frequently used to access the dark web — was led by police in Germany, dark web sites along with US law enforcement agencies and Europol.
The majority of the arrests took place in the US with 121 cases, followed by 42 cases in Germany, eight cases in the Netherlands, dark web market links four cases in the United Kingdom, dark web sites three cases in Austria and one case in Sweden. Police said investigations are still ongoing to identify people behind these dark web accounts.
The for hidden parts of the internet that you can’t easily discover through an online sdarknet market marketplaces have grown in popularity at an alarming rate and allow drug traffickers to openly advertise and take orders from anywhere in the world,” Rosen said. “The dark net invites criminals into our homes and provides unlimited access to illegal commerce.”
Operation DisrupTor used information from another major darknet market raided in April 2019, FBI Director Christopher Wray said. , one of the largest dark web marketplaces online.
Investigators said they’ve tracked down more than 18,000 listed sales to alleged customers in at least 35 states and in several countries around the world. Wray noted that there’s been a spike in opioid-related overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the FBI will continue investigating dark web drug markets.
“Today’s announcement sends a strong message to criminals selling or buying illicit goods on the dark web market web: the hidden internet is no longer hidden, and your anonymous activity is not anonymous,” Edvardas Sileris, the head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, said in a statement.