Over 150 arrested in global crackdown on Darknet traders

A total of 65 US nationals were arrested, 47 Germans, 24 Britons and a few Dutch, French, Swiss and Bulgarian nationals

Stephanie van den Berg
Tuesday 26 October 2021 16:56
<p>Darknet markets are internet sites beyond the reach of regular search engines with seller and buyers largely untraceable </p>

Darknet markets are internet sites beyond the reach of regular search engines with seller and buyers largely untraceable

Leer en Español

At least 150 people have been arrested by European and US authorities after a joint crackdown on traders of drugs, weapons and other illicit goods on darknet e-commerce sites, Dutch media reported Tuesday citing police agency Europol.

Cash and cryptocurrency worth 26.7 million euros (£22.5 million) and 234 kilograms of drugs were also seized, according to Dutch broadcaster KRO-NRCV. “This operation proves that we can reach [criminals on the dark web]even if they think they are hiding somewhere, they cannot be sure we won’t be there at one moment to knock on their door”, Europol’s deputy executive director of operations, Jean-Philippe Lecouffe told the broadcaster.

Europol would not comment on the report, but referred to a press conference set for 10am local time (2pm GMT) in Washington with the Department of Justice.

According to the Dutch media 65 US nationals were arrested, along with 47 Germans, 24 Britons and a handful of Dutch, French, Swiss and Bulgarian nationals.

The operation focused on sellers and buyers on the darknet rather than the people running the sites as in earlier crackdowns.

Darknet markets are e-commerce sites designed to lie beyond the reach of regular search engines. They are popular with criminals, as buyers and sellers are largely untraceable.

In January this year, Europol announced it had taken down an online marketplace called “DarkMarket” that sold illegal drugs in an operation led by German law enforcement agencies.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in