Why it matters: The effort, led by German authorities, resulted in the arrest of three suspects and was the result of a nearly two-year investigation. Police also confiscated more than €550,000 ($615,000) in cash as well as multiple vehicles, computers, data storage and “cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Monero in 6-digit amounts.” Two additional suspects were arrested in the US, described as some of the “highest-selling suppliers of narcotics.”
A coordinated effort between law enforcement agencies around the globe including the Department of Justice, the FBI, the DEA, the US Postal Inspection Service and the IRS has resulted in the seizure of the world’s second largest dark web marketplace and several arrests.
Europol said the Wall Street Market had more than 1.15 million customer accounts and over 5,400 registered sellers. Marketplace staffers reportedly received commission payments of two to six percent of sale values.
Vendors on the Wall Street Market sold a variety of illegal goods including narcotics, counterfeit documents and hacking software.
The suspects are being charged with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and distribution and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
The Wall Street Market was already in trouble before the seizure. In early April, site admins reportedly launched an exit scam in which around $11 million in user funds were stolen.
Authorities also took down another marketplace called the Silkkitie (known as the Valhalla Marketplace). In operation since 2013, the site was one of the oldest and best-known international Tor trading sites. Europol said the Silkkitie was shut down “earlier this year” which prompted some of its sellers to move to other sites like Wall Street Market.
Lead image courtesy Sergey Nivens via Shutterstock