The world's second-largest Dark Web marketplace has been dismantled in an international law enforcement operation that also resulted in the arrests of three German nationals indicted in the US.
The so-called Wall Street Market, which hosted the sale of illegal drugs, stolen data, fake documents, and malicious software, most recently had some 1.5 million registered customer accounts and 5,400 registered sellers of the illicit goods. Wall Street Market's officials earned a 2% to 6% commission of the value of each sale.
Law enforcement officials, led by Europol, were able to see the IP address and ultimately identify one of the defendants when his VPN connection to the marketplace computer network failed. The defendants, who have not been named publicly, are a 23-year-old resident of Kleve, a 31-year-old resident of Wurzburg, and a 29-year-old resident of Stuttgart.
In addition, former Wall Street Market operative Marcos Paulo De Oliveira-Annibale, 29, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was charged in the US with federal drug distribution and money-laundering charges.
"Taking down this site is a huge win for past and future victims of crimes perpetrated due to the proliferation of illegal products and services being sold," said Chief Don Fort of IRS Criminal Investigation. "We are committed to using our unique financial investigative abilities to tackle these kinds of threats head on to protect citizens, to promote cybersecurity, and to inform the global community."
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