Dutch police say they have seized an online drug marketplace similar to Silk Road. Utopia, which launched just last week, was expected to eventually become a major competitor to the new Silk Road which launched shortly after suspected Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht was arrested late last year.
Law enforcement officials are thus far being pretty quiet about the seizure. Public Prosecution Service spokesman Wim de Bruin failed to reveal how the site was seized or if anyone had been arrested, instead promising to release more information later this week.
Much like Silk Road, Black Market Reloaded and others, Utopia was an underground market for illegal goods that was only accessible via the Tor anonymity network. Accord to DeepDotWeb who reported on the opening last week, the site offered up an array of drugs, chemicals to manufacture narcotics, hacking and gambling services, illegal firearms and even counterfeit money and clothes. Over 1,200 listings appeared on the site within the first couple of hours, we’re told.
The closure has since been confirmed by several others, including a moderator from Silk Road.
The Silk Road moderator said the seizure was a serious blow to the dark web marketplace community. Instead of conceding defeat, however, the moderator encouraged the site’s members to regroup relaunch.
Interestingly enough, Utopia’s forums were not seized and still remain online although its contents are only visible to registered members of the site.