An intercontinental legislation enforcement action has led to the arrest of 150 individuals worldwide on suspicion of buying or selling illicit items on the dark web.
Procedure Dark HunTor involved the combined effort of police forces in nine different international locations who carried out a collection of separate but complementary steps, coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.
Subsequent actions in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, 234kg of drugs and 45 firearms were being seized alongside with much more than $31m in cash and virtual currencies.
Integrated in the drug haul ended up 152.1kg of amphetamine, 21.6kg of cocaine, 26.9kg of opioids, 32.5kg of MDMA, in addition to more than 200,000 ecstasy, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methamphetamine products, and counterfeit medication.
The European Union Company for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) said that it considers the 150 alleged distributors and purchasers arrested in the procedure to be “Large-Price Targets” who it suspects engaged in tens of hundreds of illegal products profits.
The bulk of the arrests have been carried out in the United States (65), Germany (47), and the United Kingdom (24).
In a statement released these days, the United States Division of Justice Office environment of General public Affairs mentioned that by means of Procedure Dark HunTor, darknet seller accounts experienced been recognized and attributed to genuine men and women promoting illicit products on active marketplaces, as effectively as inactive darknet marketplaces these types of as Dream, WallStreet, White House, DeepSea, and DarkMarket.
“Procedure Dark HunTor stems from the takedown before this 12 months of DarkMarket, the world’s then-most significant illegal marketplace on the dark web,” said Europol.
“At the time, German authorities arrested the marketplace’s alleged operator and seized the felony infrastructure, delivering investigators across the world with a trove of evidence.”
Europol stated that at any time due to the fact DarkMarket’s takedown, its European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) experienced been “compiling intelligence packages to recognize the essential targets.”
Prior to, but in assistance of, Procedure Dark HunTor, authorities in Italy shut down the DeepSea and Berlusconi dark web marketplaces, which featured in excess of 40,000 adverts for illegal items. 4 alleged administrators were arrested, and €3.6m in crypto-currencies ended up seized in coordinated Italian–US functions.
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