Cybercrime , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

Police Arrest Shuttered Monopoly Market Drug Sellers

Nearly 300 Arrests Made in the US and Europe
Police Arrest Shuttered Monopoly Market Drug Sellers

International law enforcement agencies arrested hundreds in what authorities say is the largest crackdown on illicit drugs over the dark web, also revealing that German law enforcement was behind the December 2021 disappearance of dark web drug marketplace Monopoly Market.

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The operation, given the codename SpecTor, led to the arrests of 288 individuals in the U.S. and Europe. German authorities confiscated the infrastructure of Monopoly Market in December 2021, using data in seized servers to plan Tuesday's raids.

The operations led by law enforcement agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Brazil alongside Europol also resulted in authorities confiscating over 50.8 million euros in cash and virtual currencies, 850 kilograms of drugs, and 117 firearms.

Monopoly Market was a drug-focused dark web e-commerce site that accepted payment only in the monero cryptocurrency, which uses obfuscation techniques to protect the identity of users.

"Our message to criminals on the dark web is this: You can try to hide in the furthest reaches of the internet, but the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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