A student in Germany has been arrested for allegedly operating a major dark web marketplace

A 22-year-old student from Bavaria has been arrested by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on suspicion of being the administrator of ‘Deutschland im Deep Web’ (DiDW), a major darknet market in the country. The platform had already been offline since March 2022, but at the time of its closure had 16,000 registered users, 28,000 posts, and 72 high-volume sellers of prohibited goods, including weapons and drugs.

The suspect is now facing charges for operating an illegal trading platform, which carries a sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment. The original version of DiDW was launched in 2013 as a forum to discuss IT security and anonymization, but it was also used for selling illegal items.

 The platform was shut down in 2017, but two new versions appeared on the dark web in 2018, with the third and most recent version coming online ten days after the second version closed in 2019. The alleged administrator of the third version was arrested on October 25, 2022, following a five-year investigation by federal police.