'Dark web' marketplaces shut down after global investigation

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Hansa is a smaller but similar marketplace to AlphaBay. "We recorded an eight times increase in the number of human users on Hansa immediately following the takedown of AlphaBay".

What's more, there were over 100,000 listings for stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms, and fraudulent services, the agency said.

At a Thursday news conference, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Europol announced that they've jointly seized the world's two biggest darknet - or dark web - marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, which were collectively responsible for more than 10 times the volume of sales as the notorius Silk Road marketplace.

The US Department of Justice announced on Thursday that AlphaBay, the world's largest online black market, was seized and shut down after its creator was arrested in Thailand on July 5. "We will find you". "And we will prosecute you".

Authorities did not release the name of the arrested Canadian. But before he could be extradited, Cazes was found dead from an apparent suicide in his cell in Thailand. "Subsequent enquiries located the Hansa market infrastructure in the Netherlands, with follow-up investigations by the Dutch police leading to the arrest of its two administrators in Germany and the seizure of servers in the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania".

Wainwright said officers are tracking down Hansa buyers and sellers through their usernames and passwords. Authorities claim to have collected user data from the sites, used for the sale of illegal drugs and firearms.

This story will be updated throughout the day. USA officials said they are aware of and investigating hundreds of services for secret online transactions of drugs and illicit goods.

The Department of Justice announced Thursday the takedown of the largest online drug marketplace and the indictment of the site's alleged founder who has since taken his life. Another darknet marketplace, called Hansa, was shut down Thursday as part of the global operation. "This was then succeeded by AlphaBay and Hansa". Furthermore, Europol stated they have prepared "intelligence packages" to be sent out to "law enforcement partners across 37 countries, spawning many follow-up investigations across Europe and beyond". "What we have seen in the past is that people move around".

Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe estimated that AlphaBay was "10 times the size of Silk Road". "It's like demolishing a building".

Hansa Market was the most popular dark market on the "anonymous" part of the internet, or dark net, police said in a statement. "Looks like I'll be sober for a while".

"This operation is an example of the improving concerted ability of law enforcement to strike against criminals, even on the dark net", he said.

Silk Road, formerly the biggest illegal online marketplace, operated from 2011 to 2013. Once AlphaBay went down, their new listings tripled to approximately 15,000 a week. "LE may have won this battle, but they will NEVER win the war on drugs", noted one poster on Reddit's darknet forum.



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