An international team of police seized drugs, guns, and cryptocurrencies being sold on the dark web as part of a swoop led by Europol.
Cops from Europe, Canada, and the US joined forces to target vendors and buyers of illegal goods using sinister online marketplaces.
The international law enforcement agencies made 61 arrests, shut down 50 dark web accounts, and seized drugs, guns, and over €6.2 million (almost €4 million in cryptocurrency, €2.2 million in cash, and €35,000 in gold).
Europol’s executive director, Catherine De Bolle, today said: “The dark web is not as dark as you think. When you buy or sell illegal goods online, you are not hidden from law enforcement and you are putting yourself in danger.
“This international coordinated approach demonstrates law enforcement’s determination to tackle crime on the dark web and to reduce the number of people who fall victim to criminals selling life-endangering products or scamming them for their own gain.”
A total of 60 experts from 19 countries hunted down the signs of counterfeit goods and money, drugs, cybercrime, fraud, trafficking in human beings, arms deals, explosives, and child sex abuse imagery.
In one of the probes, Austrian investigators arrested young men suspected of funding their luxurious lifestyle by selling more than 1,800 parcels of cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and cannabis under the name Pablo’s Kitchen.
In Germany, 39 dark web users believed to be trading guns, drugs, and child sexual abuse material are still under investigation.
French Customs also identified an arms dealer on a French dark web marketplace. The perpetrator was arrested and admitted to selling between 350 and 400 9mm cartridges.