Popular darknet search engine DeepDotWeb has been seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) due to allegations of money laundering.
DeepDotWeb acted as a resource for users who wanted to access illicit markets on the darknet. It provided links and reviews on darknet markets including Dream Marketplace, which was taken offline in mysterious circumstances last month.
According to Tech Crunch, law enforcement arrested the site’s moderator in Brazil, while five other arrests were made in Israel, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The investigation uncovered a website called "Deepdotweb," which served as a portal to other sites hawking illegal goods and services.https://t.co/rgiI6A3GHI
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) May 7, 2019
The website is reported to have made millions of dollars through affiliate links, as every time a user clicks through the link the site would earn commission through each sign-up.
According to a notice on the site: “This site has been seized by the FBI pursuant to a seizure warrant obtained by the United States Attorney’s Office of Pennsylvania.”
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) as well as Europol are both assisting with the investigations.
The abrupt closure of DeepDotWeb demonstrates the extent of an ongoing clampdown by law enforcement, with another one of the biggest dark markets, Wall Street Market, being taken down last Friday.
Three German nationals who allegedly ran the website were all arrested on narcotics and money laundering charges.
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