On April 5, the U.S. and German officials stepped forwarded against an illegal dark web market site and seized its access. The site had millions of users; among those, most were of a Russian accent. Although the market had a cryptocurrency exchange through which the financial transactions were made, the U.S. and German officials have stated that these dealings were primarily made for illegal drugs business, mainly outside the Russian territory.
The German police force has stated that they have a power cut the servers of the dark web comprising an illegal marketplace known as the hydra market and has captured revenue in the form of bitcoins worth 23 million euros which is equivalent to $25 million approximately. Later on, the U.S. treasury department imposed certain sanctions on this illegal dark web marketplace upon which it claimed the involvement of millions of users and a cryptocurrency exchange framework.
The U.S. imposed sanctions in coordination with the international efforts made by the German federal police force. These sanctions’ prime focus is on disrupting unfair and malicious cybercrime services, illicit drugs, and other illegal activities, as stated by the treasury department in a news release. These sanctions against the illegal marketplace Hydra and the illegal established crypto exchange were published on the official website of the treasury department on April 5. In a news release, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has stated that “Our actions send a message today to criminals that you cannot hide on the darknet or their forums, and you cannot hide in Russia or anywhere else in the world.”
To cover the original identity of the user, the dark web is included in that sort of network, which requires specific software or authorizations to go through it. Moreover, according to the treasury department, the marketplace based on the dark web network is more commonly fond of accepting digital currency as payment. The federal police department of Germany has revealed that their prime investigation is directed towards the suspects who are a participant in the criminal trading on a commercial level across the dark web. However, no arrest has been reported by the police so far.
Being established in 2015, the Hydra market has served many Russian marketers who are prompt in selling narcotics, fake currency, stolen memory card data, and fake identity records. The marketplace is bearing near to about 17 million customers accounts and an excess of 19000 merchant accounts, as depicted by the German Federal Police.
The Hydra market was possibly the most illicit type of black market globally, with perhaps the most significant turnover of about 1.23 billion euros alone in 2020 approx. This estimate is according to the proclamation put forward by the German Federal Police. A banner depicting a seizure has been published on the website of the Hydra market. Moreover, the sanctions imposed by the U.S. include the state’s right to seize any property or money found to have any connection with the Hydra market. They will also block all the transactions made by U.S. citizens with the Hydra market.