Law enforcement agencies have arrested 288 dark web vendors and buyers worldwide and seized €50.8 million ($55.9M) in cash and cryptocurrency as part of an international operation called ‘SpecTor’. The operation targeted vendors who sold drugs and firearms to users of darknet marketplaces, primarily on a site called ‘Monopoly Market’ that was launched in 2019 but seized by German authorities in December 2021. The seized site was then used to collect evidence on the vendors and customers who bought and sold drugs on the platform.
The arrested individuals, who engaged in tens of thousands of sales of illicit goods, were primarily based in the US (153), the UK (55), and Germany (52). The recent operation was coordinated by Europol and the FBI, and involved police in several countries, including Brazil, France, Switzerland, and Poland.