Internet

International Operation to Disrupt Drug Trafficking on the Darknet Results in 150 Arrests and Seized Goods

By Supriyo Chatterji / October 28, 2021

The Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team of the US DOJ and Europol announced that the 10-month long multiagency effort was directed against illegal drug markets worldwide called Operation Dark HunTor resulted in the arrest of 150 individuals. Moreover, various drugs, weapons, and over $31 million were seized, and vendors selling stupefacients on the Darkweb were charged. The operations were conducted in the US, Europe, and Australia, and some investigations are still active.

Following the DarkMarket takedown in January 2021, the world’s largest illegal marketplace on the Darknet, US and international law enforcement agencies identified Darknet drug vendors and buyers and started a series of parallel investigations. As a preparatory step before Operation Dark HunTor began, they closed down the DeepSea and Berlusconi dark web markets and arrested four alleged administrators along with seizing €3.6 million in cryptocurrencies.

The operation resulted in 65 arrests in the United States, 47 in Germany, 24 in the United Kingdom, four in the Netherlands, four in Italy, three in France, two in Switzerland, and one in Bulgaria. Also, over $31.6 million (in cash and virtual currencies), approximately 234 kilograms of drugs worldwide (including 152.1 kg amphetamine, 21.6 kg cocaine, 26.9 kg opioids, 32.5 kg MDMA, and also more than 200,000 ecstasy, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methamphetamine pills, and counterfeit medicine), and 45 firearms were seized.

The law enforcement unveiled some individuals' real identity that was liked with vendor accounts identified selling illegal goods on active markets, as well as inactive Darknet marketplaces such as Dream, WallStreet, White House, DeepSea, and Dark Market.

“These drug traffickers are flooding the United States with deadly, fake pills, driving the US overdose crisis, spurring violence, and threatening the safety and health of American communities. DEA’s message today is clear: criminal drug networks operating on the Darknet, trying to hide from law enforcement, can no longer hide. DEA, the US interagency, and our valued international partners, are committed to dismantling drug networks wherever they are, including on the Darknet,” said a DEA representative.

Operation HunTor and Operation DisrupTor before it have resulted in massive blows to the international drug trade and saved countless lives. US Deputy Attorney General Monaco asserts that the US and its allies will pursue further crackdown Darknet drug markets in the near future as well. This year, fake Xanax pills seller “Rangoon” was sentenced to three years in prison in the US, and the Australian police seized a record amount of crypto from Darkweb drug deals.



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