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Europol shuts down two dark web marketplaces—Wall Street Market and Silkkitie—in global operation against underground websites. According to Europol, the Wall Street Market had more than 1.15 million users and 5,400 sellers of drugs, malware, and other illegal materials.
As police in western Germany has arrested three men who were running Wall Street Market, Finnish law enforcement seized another marketplace known as Silkkitie or Valhalla, and American police arrested two alleged high-volume drug dealers.
According to the Europol, the police officers seized the computers used to run the illegal market place, along with more than €550 000 (£472,000 or $621,000) in cash, more than €1 Million in Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrencies, expensive cars, and other evidence.
ZDNet notes that it was already in turmoil: the owners were apparently running an “exit scam” where they absconded with sellers’ money, some staff appeared to be blackmailing users by threatening to reveal their identities, and a moderator leaked high-level credentials online.
Based on the findings of the investigation, Finnish Customs also seized a significant amount of Bitcoin, following the shut down of Silkkitie, known as the Valhalla Marketplace.
“After the Silkkitie (Valhalla) site was shut down by the authorities, some of the Finnish narcotics traders moved their activities to other illegal trade sites in the Tor network, such as Wall Street Market,” Europol says.
The Department of justice today charged the three men arrested in Germany with two felony counts—conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and distribution, and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
The operation was conducted in cooperation with German Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt), the Dutch National Police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust, and various US government agencies, including Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security, US Postal Inspection Service, and the US Department of Justice.