German cops nabbed $25 million (EUR 23 million) in Bitcoin as they shut down ‘one of the world’s largest darknet markets’, the Russian market Hydra.
On Tuesday, the federal police statement claimed the cybercrime office of the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) and federal criminal police seized 543 Bitcoins as they got hold of the site’s servers. The marketplace was primarily used for illegal sales for narcotics.
- Federal police found 17 million customers and 19,000 seller accounts.
- In 2020, the darknet market apparently generated €1.23 billion ($1.35 billion) in revenue.
- Data was spied out worldwide, fake documents and digital services were offered profitably through the platform.
The report further noted that there is a suspicion of the commercial operation of criminal trading platforms on the Internet. The statement further suggests that there are ongoing commercial procurement of an opportunity for the unauthorized purchase as well as commercial money laundering taking place.
Federal police found 17 million customers and 19,000 seller accounts. Hydra Market reportedly had the highest turnover among illegal marketplaces in the world. In 2020, the marketplace apparently generated €1.23 billion ($1.35 billion) in revenue.
As per blockchain forensics firm Ciphertrace, the market was mainly used for illegal narcotics, and operated in countries including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Moldova.
Additionally, data spied out worldwide, fake documents and digital services were offered profitably through the platform.
Explaining the way the marketplace operated, the statement read that the marketplace also had a built-in bitcoin privacy mixer, which muddled the tracking process of transactions.
The probe started in August 2021 and took place with the help of U.S. authorities, the police revealed.
Hydra Market had been operating since 2015 and was available via the Tor browser. The site has been discontinued from the internet.
In a similar instance of cryptos being used for illicit activities, the Federal Government seized $2.3M worth of Bitcoin from darknet club drug kingpin, 25-year-old Binh Thanh Le of Brockton who was caught with $200,000 worth of Bitcoins in his electronic wallet.