DarkMarket Takedown Leads to Australian Police Raids

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  • Several properties in Australia have been raided as part of the investigation into dark web marketplace DarkMarket
  • DarkMarket, which processed more than $170 million in BTC and XMR transactions, was shuttered two weeks ago
  • Its primary administrator was arrested in Germany

Another month, another dark web marketplace takedown. In December it was
Sipulimarket, this month it’s German-based DarkMarket, and the taking down of what has been referred to as the largest dark web marketplace in the world has been felt across the other side of the world. DarkMarket was taken offline when its primary administrator, an as yet unnamed 34-year-old Australian man living in Germany, was apprehended by German authorities, which has led two weeks later to Australian police raiding several homes in the suspect’s homeland, where a laptop, cell phones, sim cards, USB drives, and bank cards were seized.

$170 Million in BTC and XMR Processed

DarkMarket, which boasted some 500,000 users and sold everything from counterfeit money to malware, was taken down on January 10 following the arrest of its primary administrator. The site, which had some 2,400 vendors, is said to have processed more than 320,000 transactions, $170 million of which was conducted through BTC and XMR. It is not yet known how much cryptocurrency has been seized as part of the law enforcement action.

In an example of the scale of the operation, more than 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine were also seized, which may have helped Australian police know which properties to target this week. The demise of DarkMarket involved a lengthy international operation between investigators from the US (including the FBI, DEA narcotics and IRS) Australia, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Moldova.

DarkMarket Closure Could Explain Yellow Brick Market Exit Scam

The closure of DarkMarket may also go some way to explaining the disappearance from the dark web of Yellow Brick Market, another dark web marketplace, earlier this month. The site disappeared with $30 million in user funds in the form of cryptocurrencies, with some theories pointing to an employee said to work for both DarkMarket and Yellow Brick Market.