International authorities Tuesday touted the takedown of DarkMarket, a darknet marketplace that law enforcement agencies in the U.S and Europe described as being the largest of its kind in the world.
Europol said that German police arrested the alleged operator of DarkMarket near the Danish border over the weekend, subsequently took control of the site’s infrastructure and then shut it down.
Similar to the infamous Silk Road site that was seized and shuttered in 2013, DarkMarket served as an online black market where drugs and other contraband could be bought and sold using cryptocurrency.
Europol said DarkMarket had facilitated a total of over 320,000 transactions before it was taken down, including purchases for products ranging from narcotics and fake money to SIM cards and malware.
DarkMarket boasted almost 500,000 registered users and more than 2,400 vendors before it shuttered, Europol said in a statement, calling it “the world’s largest illegal marketplace on the dark web.”
Europol identified the alleged DarkMarket operator as an Australian and said the infrastructure seized after his arrest includes over 20 servers found in two former Soviet states, Moldova and Ukraine.
“The stored data will give investigators new leads to further investigate moderators, sellers and buyers,” Europol said in the statement.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, FBI and IRS participated in the operation as well, Europol added. The Department of Justice lauded it for shuttering what it also called the largest site of its kind.