Police Pull Plug on Two Dark-Web Markets, Seize $615K and Cryptocurrency

Arrests were also made in connection to Wall Street Market and Silkkitie

International law enforcement shut down the Wall Street Market and Silkkitie dark web marketplaces.
International law enforcement shut down the Wall Street Market and Silkkitie dark web marketplaces.
Europol
By Alex Lauer / May 3, 2019 4:33 pm

It’s been hard out there for dark web criminals. The marketplaces where anonymous users buy and sell everything from drugs to stolen data have seen big crackdowns in the last decade, from the original Silk Road’s demise in 2013 to that time in 2017 when the National Dutch Police secretly ran one for a month.

Now, the police are really hitting their stride. On Friday, it was announced that two dark web marketplaces — the Wall Street Market and the Silkkitie (also known as Valhalla) — were taken down “in simultaneous global operations” led by the German and Finnish police, with help from various U.S. government agencies, Europol and others.

German authorities “arrested three people who allegedly ran the Wall Street Market, supposedly the world’s second-largest ‘dark web’ marketplace,” writes The Verge. But police are actively tracking down those who buy and sell on these sites as well, and two “of the highest-selling suppliers of narcotics were arrested” in the U.S.

Assets were also seized, including more than €550,000 (about $615,000) in cash, cryptocurrency (including Bitcoin and Monero “in six-digit amounts”), computers, data storage, as well as flashier contraband such as a Mercedes sports car and luxury watches, according to the New York Times.

Lest you think this is a niche operation, according to Europol’s press release, the Wall Street Market operated via Tor — an anonymous communication network — and hosted more than 1.15 million users and 5,400 sellers.

So if you’re one of those people who’s always wondered how to access the “dark web,” best keep your distance. 

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