Utopia no more: Drug marketplace seen as the next Silk Road shut down by Dutch police

The 'dark web' marketplace offered drugs and other illegal goods for sale and was seen by some as the hier to infamous Silk Road

A ‘dark web’ website selling illegal goods has been shut down, leading to the arrest of five people.

The site, Utopia, which only launched earlier this month, was already selling over a 1,000 products. Illegal drugs, counterfeit goods, and chemicals were amongst the items available to purchase.

The website was hidden to the mainstream web and was only accessible through the Tor anonymity network. The website was taken down on Tuesday, although the forums are apparently still in operation.

Dutch police arrested five men last week after an investigation, codenamed Commodore, was launched in early 2013.

Two men were arrested from the eastern Netherlands city of Encschede. The men are suspected of drug and arms trafficking on anonymous Tor sites, including Utopia and another site called Black Market Reloaded.

A 29-year-old man from Utrecht and a 46-year-old Dutch national are also suspects, as the police believe that they were also involved in the black market site.

In addition, German police have arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of trafficking weapons and narcotics through the ‘dark web’. In a statement the Dutch police stated that they believe the man sold drugs, as well as stolen credit cards and ammunition. 

A screenshot of the type of wares available on utopia. Credit: DeepDotWeb

Undercover police agents were able to purchase narcotics and firearms on the site - including several thousand ecstasy pills and cocaine by the kilo. The agents were also horrified when they were paid a deposit to assassinate a person.

Dutch police seized 900 bitcoins as a result of the arrests (valued at more than £300,000), as well as external hard drives and USB sticks.

Technology news site DeepDotWeb released images of products being sold on the website, which revealed that the drug ecstasy was being sold, as well as ketamine. The website originally reported the launch of the website, suggesting that it would be “the biggest competition for Silk Road 2.0”.

The Silk Road marketplace was shut down in October 2013 by the FBI. The alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering, drug trafficking, soliciting murder, and facilitating computer hacking.

The FBI claimed in a statement to have seized 173,991 bitcoins in connection with the Silk Road case, which they valued at a staggering $33.6 million.

At the time of the arrest, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “With his arrest and our subsequent seizures of millions of dollars worth of Silk Road’s bitcoins, we have sent a clear message to him and everyone else running criminal enterprises on the dark web: we are determined and equipped to hold you to account.”

Payments were made in bitcoins, a digital currency, to mask the identity of both the buyers and sellers on the hidden website.

However, it did not take long for ‘Silk Road 2.0’ to open in November last year. But the legal clampdown by authorities did not take long - with Forbes reporting in December that three members of Silk Road 2.0 had been arrested.

ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Guru Careers: Recruitment Resourcer / Recruitment Account Manager

    £20 - 25k + Bonus: Guru Careers: Are you a Recruitment Consultant looking to m...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power