Nearly 288 arrested, weapons and crypto grasped, in an exceptional dark web crackdown

May 3, 2023: The U.S. consortium and international law enforcement have arrested 288 and seized over $53 million in cash and crypto, which is included in a dark-web drug “unprecedented” enforcement action known as Operation Spector, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated on Tuesday.

“The Justice Department cracks down on cryptocurrency transactions of criminals,” Garland stated, “and the online criminal marketplaces that enable them,” Garland added.

Dozens of firearms and over 850 kilograms of drugs were taken away in Operation Spector, an allusion to the dark-web searching protocol. The European agency’s press release stated that the operation was aligned alongside Europol, and the outcome was the seizure of a dark-web marketplace known as Monopoly Market.

The Justice Department stated more than 100 federal procedures and prosecutions had been created in the U.S. Garland said 153 domestic suspects had been arrested, which include a California man who allegedly traded almost $2 million worth of fentanyl and methamphetamine on the dark web.

German police initially seized the marketplace’s online infrastructure in Dec. 2021. They worked alongside Europol and international law enforcement agencies and targeted “high-value targets” who sold pills and illicit goods worldwide.

Spector resumes the same efforts that disrupted darknet marketplace Hydra in the previous year and online identity-theft site Genesis Market of the current year.

Agents involved from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Postal Inspection Service of the U.S., the Drug Enforcement Administration, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigative team. Law enforcement from Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom were also concerned.

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