Global Raids by law enforcement agencies 410 Dark Market websites seized and 17 Arrested
Just a day after the seizure of Silk Road 2.0 and the arrest of its owner , Europol today announced that more than 410 hidden services were taken down through “Operation Onymous” and 17 were arrested in a Global raid coordinated by law enforcement and judicial agencies around the globe.
On Friday, the European police agency Europol along with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security announced that the “Operation Onymous” had been initiated and they had arrested 17 people in countries given below and seized hundreds of Dark Web domains associated with well over a dozen black market websites. In addition to the takedowns of drug markets Silk Road 2, Cloud 9 and Hydra which was reported yesterday, the authorities also busted contraband markets like Pandora, Blue Sky, Topix, Flugsvamp, Cannabis Road, and Black Market. Other takedown targets included money laundering sites like Cash Machine, Cash Flow, Golden Nugget and Fast Cash. And agents have taken from criminal suspects more than $1 million in bitcoin, $250,000 in cash, as well as an assortment of computers, drugs, gold, silver and weapons that they had yet to fully catalogue.
A total of 17 Countries including 16 European countries namely Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland along with United States FBI were involved in this Global action
The Europol said these Dark Markets running hidden under the Tor Networks and were involved in the marketing and selling of illegal and harmful items including weapons, Drugs and pedophilia.
The Arrest of Blake Benthall the accused owner of Silk Road 2.0 was also the part of this joint operation, the Europol said.
“Today we have demonstrated that, together, we are able to efficiently remove vital criminal infrastructures that are supporting serious organised crime. And we are not ‘just’ removing these services from the open Internet; this time we have also hit services on the Darknet using Tor where, for a long time, criminals have considered themselves beyond reach. We can now show that they are neither invisible nor untouchable. The criminals can run but they can’t hide. And our work continues….”, said Europol’s Troels Oerting.
While the global raids may bring end to few of Dark Web, but is is not possible to completely stop these websites to come up in existence, with reports of Silk Road script being available to many drug dealers and Silk Road 3.0 already coming up into existence.