Authorities in Europe and the US have arrested 17 people suspected of using the so-called “Dark Web” to traffic in drugs and weapons.
US Authorities also said that a man suspected of running the illicit trafficking site Silk Road 2.0 was arrested, and that the site was shut down.
Silk Road 2.0 was setup after the shutting down by authorities of its predecessor, Silk Road, which users would utilise as a medium in the sale of various forms of contraband and illicit deals.
Europol said that around 400 sites involved in drugs and weapons dealing, child porn, and murder-for-hire, were shut down in the operation.
The crackdown on traffickers spanned 18 countries, and netted some $1 million worth of the digital currency Bitcoin, which is the main currency used in Dark Web transactions.
Raids by authorities took place in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
“They had set up complete business models, just like any web shop. They display what they sell; drugs, weapons, stolen credit cards. People paid and they delivered by the mailman,” said Troels Oerting, the head of Europol’s cybercrime centre.”There was even a ranking system for reliable suppliers.”
“We have also hit services on the Darknet using Tor where, for a long time, criminals have considered themselves beyond reach,” Oerting. “We can now show that they are neither invisible nor untouchable.”
Tor is a system that allows users to navigate the Dark Web, where internet traffic is encrypted, making the identification of its users much more difficult.