US Seizes $1.6m in Cryptocurrencies from Darknet Criminals

The U.S. Department of Justice

The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday 22 September the results of Operation DisrupTor, including seizing over $1.6 million in cryptocurrencies from Darknet criminals.

It clarified that this operation resulted in the seizure of over $6.5 million in both cash and virtual currencies worldwide. This was in addition to approximately 500 kilograms of drugs.

It did not mention the name of the cryptocurrency seized or where the seized funds remain now.

Darknet vendor accounts were identified and attributed to real individuals selling illicit goods on Darknet market sites,” it added.

These Darknet sites included AlphaBay, Dream, WallStreet, Nightmare, Empire, White House, DeepSea, Dark Market, and others.

The operation took place across the United States and Europe. It demonstrates the continued partnership between Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) and Europol against the illegal sale of drugs and other illicit goods and services.  

The operation builds on the success of last year’s Operation SaboTor and the coordinated takedown of the Wall Street Market.

The Wall Street Market is one of the largest illegal online markets on the dark web.

Moreover, the FBI led the investigation that thwarted a firebomb attack plot involving explosives, firearms, the Darknet, prescription opioid trafficking, cryptocurrency, and sophisticated money laundering.

Operation DisrupTor led to 121 arrests in the US, including 2 in Canada at the request of the United States. They also arrested 42 in Germany, 8 in the Netherlands, 4 in the UK, 3 in Austria, and 1 in Sweden. A number of investigations are still ongoing to identify the individuals behind Darknet accounts.

One of the perpetrators allegedly sold cocaine, heroin, and other drugs via the dark web. He allegedly accepted payment in cryptocurrency, primarily bitcoin. Then, he shipped the drugs to customers’ addresses through the US mail and other shipping services.

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Hanan Hamed 48 Articles
a bilingual journalist. She writes in both Arabic and English. She has been writing news and features for 7 years now. She is specialized in business and economic news.