A 34-year-old Australian accused of running the largest dark web marketplace in the world was arrested by German authorities near the Danish border.
According to a report On Wednesday from Europol, the DarkMarket site went offline on Monday after an investigation by German investigators with the support of Europol and seven other nations.
The illegal website had processed more than 320,000 transactions, had nearly 500,000 users and over 2,400 providers. More than 140 million euros (around 170 million US dollars) in Bitcoin and Monero had changed hands on the website.
Various drugs, counterfeit or stolen credit cards, anonymous SIM cards, and malware made up some of the goods for sale on the site.
More than 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine were seized as part of the operation. After a ABC News reportPolice said the DarkMarket closure was the result of a 2019 investigation into a server in a former NATO bunker in southwest Germany. It was found that at one point in time other illegal websites including DarkMarket were being hosted.
Authorities from the USA, Australia, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ukraine and Moldova helped with the month-long operation.
The Australian operator, who was not named, is being held in custody by order of a judge and has yet to provide information to the investigators.