By CCN: It appears safety standards for criminals on the dark web are shrinking quickly. Following a series of raids in both Germany and the United States, American and European officials have succeeded in taking down what they call one of the world’s “largest online criminal trafficking operations.” The problem is it took authorities two years to take down the bad guys, paving the way for millions in crypto funds to be stolen in the interim.
Three German citizens – who remain unnamed at press time – have been charged in both their home country and the United States with operating what’s known as the “Wall Street Market,” a dark net platform that allegedly hosted approximately 5,400 sellers of illegal drugs including cocaine and heroin. The men are also being charged with forging illegal documents for users, such as driver’s licenses and identity papers.
Crypto Drug Traffickers Are Taken Down
Ryan White, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, told MSN:
“The charges filed in Germany and the United States will significantly disrupt the illegal sale of drugs on the darknet. We believe that the Wall Street Market recently became the world’s largest darknet marketplace for contraband including narcotics, hacking tools, illegal services and stolen financial data.”
Nearly all the transactions occurred with cryptocurrencies, primarily bitcoin and monero, a digital asset known for its quasi-anonymous properties. Both bitcoin and monero wallets were seized by the FBI and other legal officials during the raids.
Frankfort prosecutor Georg Ungefuk says that crypto-based transactions can be very difficult to trace, which is what allowed the market to thrive for so long. Overall, roughly two years were spent investigating the market and its operators before any serious action was taken.
The criminals made millions in profit thanks to these cryptocurrencies, taking anywhere between 2%-6% for every finalized sale.
A weighing fear amongst…