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Hundreds of arrests as international raids target dark web drugs traders

Five-fifty people were arrested in the UK during an international crackdown against illegal drug and goods trade on the dark internet.

In total, nearly 300 suspects were detained across many countries, including the US (153) Germany (52) the Netherlands (10), Austria (9), France (5), Switzerland (2), Poland, and Brazil (1 each).

All of them are suspected of buying and selling drugs, including cocaine and amphetamines, on an illegal market known as Monopoly.

During raids conducted by the National Crime Agency, National Police Chiefs’ Council and other UK authorities, over PS43m worth of cash and cryptocurrency was seized.


Officers found 850kg in total, including 43kg MDMA, 10kg LSD, and ecstasy tablets, as well as 117 firearms.

Europol announced that the operation, dubbed SpecTor was their most successful dark web drug trafficking operation to date. It beat the 179 arrests as a result of the DisrupTor missions in 2020.

Many of the detainees were “high-value targets”.

Science & Tech: More to Come

It was noted that the agency’s findings showed the importance of international cooperation in combating online crime. The intelligence used to investigate suspects was based on information provided by German authorities.

Catherine De Bolle, executive director of the organization, said that the operation sent a clear message to criminals who operate on the Dark Web: International law enforcement agencies have the capability and means to identify you and hold your illegal activities accountable.

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Europol has revealed that investigations continue to identify more suspects behind Monopoly Market accounts.

As a result of the raid, law enforcement also gained access to the extensive lists of buyers of the vendors. This means that thousands of clients around the globe are at risk.


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