In a joint effort known as SpecTor, law enforcement agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, and various European countries have successfully halted a major “dark web” marketplace and arrested 288 suspects. The operation has also led to the recovery of more than $54.8 million in cash and virtual currency, nearly one tonne of drugs, and 117 firearms.
The illegal dark web marketplace in question is “Monopoly Market”, which has been a hub for buying and selling drugs on the dark web. Europol, the policing agency in Europe, revealed that a number of high-value targets were among those arrested in the operation. The largest number of arrests took place in the United States, with 153, followed by 55 in the United Kingdom, 52 in Germany, and 10 in the Netherlands.
The success of the operation can be traced back to a previous operation by German police in 2021. During that operation, they were able to seize the Monopoly Market’s criminal infrastructure, which provided a foundation for the subsequent SpecTor operation.
Europol has been compiling intelligence packages based on evidence provided by the German authorities, and these target packages have been used as the basis for hundreds of national investigations. The operation is a major blow to the illegal drug trade on the dark web and has demonstrated the ability of international law enforcement agencies to work together in the fight against cybercrime.
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The recovered $54.8 million in cash and virtual currency is a significant amount and will no doubt be used to fund further law enforcement operations. The seizure of nearly one tonne of drugs and 117 firearms will also help to disrupt criminal networks and make communities safer.
Overall, the success of the SpecTor operation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of law enforcement agencies across multiple continents. The operation has demonstrated the importance of international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime and illegal drug trade on the dark web.