Europol seizes Bitcoin and Co. from 179 drug dealers

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An international police operation put an end to more than 170 darknet drug dealers. Last but not least, the investigators also focused on Germany.

Investigators from Europe and the USA have successfully carried out a coordinated strike against drug trafficking on the Darknet

In the past nine months, police arrested a total of 179 dormer dealers. They also confiscated weapons, half a ton of drugs, and cash and cryptocurrencies worth more than 6.5 million US dollars.

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The US Department of Justice and Europol announcedtheir success on September 22nd. Investigators from the USA, Germany, Austria and six other countries participated in Operation Crypto Profit. The name of the police action a play on words between „disruptor“ for „troublemakers“ and „TOR“ ( T he O nion R outer), the actual name for the darknet known anonymous network in which the market places are located. In addition to drugs, weapons and forged documents can also be purchased there in exchange for Bitcoin. The investigations were directed against several of the marketplaces, some of which are now offline.

42 German darknet dealers arrested

DisrupTor had preceded an action against the Darknet marketplace Wall Street Market in May 2019. Police authorities of several states under the leadership of the Federal Criminal Police Office were able to secure data that led them to the drug smugglers who were now convicted.

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The 179 arrested big dealers come from six countries, they are said to have made thousands of drug sales on the Darknet. 121 arrests were made in the USA and 42 in Germany. According to the DEA director Timothy Shea, „innovative methods for identifying dealers“ were used in the investigation.

Both the authorities in the USA and in Europe rated DisrupTor as a significant success in the fight against drug trafficking on the Darknet. Edvardas Šileris, Head of the Cybercrime Center at Europol:

The hidden internet is no longer hidden, and your anonymous activity is no longer anonymous. Law enforcement is determined to track down criminals no matter where they operate – be it on the street or behind a computer screen.

Jeffrey Rosen, U.S. Assistant Attorney General, also issued a strong warning to darknet dealers:

The arrest of 179 of them in seven countries – with the seizure of their drug shipments and money – shows that there will be no safe haven for drug trafficking in cyberspace.