World’s Largest Darknet Marketplace Shut Down, Leaving 543 Bitcoins

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    • World’s largest darknet marketplace, Hydra, gets shut down.
    • The operation happened with coordination between the German authorities and the US law enforcement.
    • Law enforcement seized cryptocurrency wallets worth 543 Bitcoins left in them.

The largest and oldest Darknet – or Dark Web – Marketplace, Hydra Market, was seized and shut down by German Authorities and US law enforcement, the US Justice Department stated on April 5.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) also stated that one of Hydra’s alleged operators was charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

German Federal Criminal Police found and seized cryptocurrencies wallets in Hydra’s market. The Department of Justice stated that the wallets contained an amount of 543 Bitcoins or $25 million.

According to the DOJ, Hydra Market – whose users were primarily in Russian-speaking countries – accounted for what is estimated to have been 80% of all dark web market-related cryptocurrency transactions during last year.

The DOJ said that Hydra Market has received about $5.2 billion in cryptocurrency for transactions on the site since the year 2015. Reaping millions of dollars worth commissions on those sales as a result.

In addition, according to the US Prosecutors, Hydra Market formed a safe space for vendors of a wide range of drugs – including opioids, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD – to connect with customers for such substances and rate the seller on a five star system.

The marketplace also arranged sales of hacking tools and services, false identification documents, and money laundering services for Bitcoin.

The DOJ also stated that it has came by an indictment against the 30 year old Russian resident Dmitry Olegovich Pavlov, The indictment is  for conspiracy to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with his operation and administration of the servers used to run Hydra.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement, where he commented on the late news.

Together with our German law enforcement partners, we have seized the infrastructure of the world’s largest darknet market, but our work is far from over,

“We will continue to work alongside our international and interagency partners to disrupt and dismantle darknet markets, and to hold those who commit their crimes on the dark web accountable for their acts,” Garland added.

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