Australian accused of running world's biggest darknet marketplace arrested

A German-led police sting has taken down the “world’s largest” darknet marketplace. —AFP  File

The man, known only as Julian K, is the alleged operator of DarkMarket and has been detained by German investigators. A 34-year-old Australian national who was suspected to be the DarkMarket operator was arrested while near the German-Danish border.

More that 20 servers were seized in Moldova and Ukraine.

Authorities say drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware were all traded on the site, which had a half a million users and transacted business in cryptocurrencies equivalent to a value of €140 million ($170 million).

Prosecutors noted that DarkMarket had nearly 500,000 users and over 2,400 vendors at the time of the shutdown.

Law Enforcement knowing figures at that detail on the same day of the arrest indicates they may have analyzed the servers long before the arrest, possibly hacked the market in some way, or had an undercover staff member able to see counts in DarkMarket's support interface.

"Investigators expect to use the data saved there to launch new probes against the moderators, sellers and buyers of the marketplace", prosecutors said.

The report further alleged that a total of 320,000 transactions took place on the illegal market place resulting in more than 4650 bitcoin and 12,8000 Monero were exchanged between the customers and the platform.

The American FBI, DEA narcotics law enforcement division and IRS tax authority took part in the probe along with police from Australia, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine and Moldova. He was placed in pre-trial detention.

"A shared commitment across the law enforcement community worldwide and a coordinated approach by law enforcement agencies have once again proved their effectiveness", Europol said in a statement about this week's operation.

They said the investigation around DarkMarket originated after the discovery of a data processing centre run by organised criminals in a 5,000sqm former North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bunker in south-west Germany.



Latest news

UFC 257: Conor McGregor Makes His Return To The Octagon
While the fans worldwide are excited to witness another grand event of UFC and especially its headliner fight, Conor McGregor Vs. Poirier, on the other hand, says he has "no safety" net, and will be more determined to win than McGregor as a result.

Why The PGA Championship Won't Happen At Trump's Course
The North Carolina native is now 565th in the Official World Golf Ranking and has made just two cuts in his last ten starts. Lame duck US President Donald Trump is slowly but surely being stripped of his favorite things.

NationNews Barbados: Mandatory negative COVID test to enter Britain
New arrivals who flout the rules will face a minimum £500 fine, while the operator who transported them will also be fined. Children under 11 travelling from any country are also exempt from pre-departure testing.

Jackson, Ravens ready to build on noteworthy playoff victory
One of the biggest storylines coming into this game was how the Ravens would stop Derrick Henry . It was like a team-unity thing.

Covid-19: 46 additional deaths, 3086 cases
Ireland has only five intensive care beds per 100,000 people, much lower than the OECD22 average of 12, according to OECD data . It has been confirmed today at 1,582 people are now being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals here, with 146 of those ICU.

Other news