Barely three weeks after the shutdown of the world’s probably largest illegal darknet marketplace DarkMarket, investigators have netted a suspected operator. It is the wife of a 34-year-old also accused as an administrator already in early January in custody, announced the Prosecutor General’s Office Koblenz (Rhineland-Palatinate) on Friday. The 32-year-old had been arrested in Oldenburg (Lower Saxony) and was in custody since Thursday. Like her husband, she is an Australian citizen.
World’s largest darknet marketplace
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the woman has not commented on the allegations. Her husband had also not entered the plea. He had been placed near the German-Danish border. A fixed residence of the accused was not known. The servers of the DarkMarket platform had been shut down on January 11.
At the time of the shutdown, the marketplace was probably the world’s largest on the darknet, with nearly 500,000 users and more than 2,400 sellers, the agency further said. More than 320,000 transactions were conducted – mainly with drugs, but also with counterfeit money, stolen or forged credit card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware. A sum equivalent to more than 140 million euros is said to have been moved there in cryptocurrencies.
The illegal marketplace is said to have been launched in June 2019 in the so-called cyber bunker in Traben-Trarbach on the Moselle River. In the old bunker, a gang is said to have previously operated an illegal data center for criminal business in the darknet on a large scale for years. In September 2019, hundreds of police officers excavated the underground cyber bunker. A trial against eight suspected operators is currently underway in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate.