Arrest of 150 people during a global operation against the "dark web"

Europol, the European Police Office, in The Hague, June 8, 2021 Jerry Lampen ANP / AFP / Archives

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A global crackdown against illegal trade on the “dark web”, the clandestine version of the Internet, has led to the arrest of some 150 suspects, the European police agency Europol announced on Tuesday (October 26th).


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Called "DarkHunTOR", the operation is one of the biggest to date concerning the

dark web


Europol, based in The Hague, specifies that it “

consisted of a series of separate but complementary actions in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States


This global operation followed the

dismantling in January under the leadership of the German police of DarkMarket

, one of the main marketplaces on the cyber black market.

Some 65 people were arrested in the United States, 47 in Germany, 24 in the United Kingdom, four in Italy and four in the Netherlands.

Several of those arrested "

were targets of importance 

" for Europol.

Money, drugs and weapons 

The police also seized 26.7 million euros in cash and electronic currencies as well as drugs, including 25,000 ecstasy tablets, and 45 firearms.

In Italy, the police also closed illegal marketplaces called "DeepSea" and "Berlusconi" which between them presented "

more than 100,000

advertisements of illegal products

", according to Europol whose operation was coordinated with Eurojust, the European agency for judicial cooperation.


The object of operations like this is to signal to criminals operating on the

dark web

(that) the law enforcement community has the means and international partnerships to expose them and hold them accountable for their activities. illegal, even in

dark web areas

», Declared the deputy director of operations at Europol, Jean-Philippe Lecouffe.






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  • Cybercriminality

  • Criminality