The German police, with the support of Europol, Dutch police and the FBI, has shut down one of the world’s largest black marketplace in the darkweb, the ‘Wall Street Market,’ and arrested three operators allegedly running it. The three German nation suspects were arrested on April 23 and 24 in the states of Hesse, Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The operation also allowed to arrest of two major suppliers of illegal narcotics in the United States.
The operation against the Wall Street Market started earlier this year after Finnish authorities also shut down another black marketplace, the Silkkitie market (aka the Valhalla marketplace). Many Finnish narcotics sellers moved to the Wall Street Market.
“The German Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt) shut down the Wall Street Market, under the authority of the German Public Prosecutor’s office. They were supported by the Dutch National Police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust and various US government agencies (Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, US Postal Inspection Service, and the US Department of Justice).” reads a press release published by the Europol.
“The Silkkitie (known as the Valhalla Marketplace) and its contents was also seized by Finnish Customs (Tulli) in close cooperation with the French National Police (La Police Nationale Française).
The Wall Street Market marketplace was considered one of the most important points of aggregation in the cybercrime underground for trading in cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamines as well as digital goods (i.e. stolen data, malware, and fake documents).
The Tor-based marketplace had more than one million registered accounts, more than 5,000 registered sellers and more than 60,000 sales offers.
“The illegal platform was exclusively accessible via the Tor network in the so-called Darknet and aimed at international trade in criminal goods.” continues the Europol. “Most recently, more than 63 000 sales offers were placed on the online marketplace and more than 1 150 000 customer accounts and more than 5 400 sellers registered. For payment, the users of the online marketplace used the crypto currencies
The anonymity of the payment was ensured by using Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrencies. It was a prolific business for the Wall Street market operators that were keeping for them a fee of two to six percent of the sales value.
The German authorities seized over €550 000 in cash and millions worth of cryptocurrencies, the police also seized several vehicles and of course computers and data storage.
Behind this new success against the cybercrime there is a dedicated Dark Web Team established by the Europol that works together with EU partners and law enforcement across the globe.
The team delivers a complete, coordinated approach for:
“A shared commitment across the law enforcement community worldwide and a coordinated approach by law enforcement agencies has once again proved their effectiveness.” concludes the Europol. “The scale of the operation at Europol demonstrates the global commitment to tackling the use of the dark web as a means to commit crime.”
(SecurityAffairs – Wall Street Market, hacking)