German Police shut down Wall Street Market, one of the World’s Biggest Dark Websites
German Police shut down Wall Street Market
German police have shut down one of the world’s largest illegal online markets. Wall Street Market in the so-called dark web and arrested the three men allegedly running it, prosecutors said on Friday.
The Wall Street Market”(WSM) site enabled the trade in cocaine, heroin, cannabis. And amphetamines as well as stolen data, fake documents, and malicious software.
The encrypted platform had more than 1m customer accounts, and over 5,000 registered sellers. And more than 60,000 sales offers, according to Frankfurt prosecutors. And affidavits were filed by US prosecutors in a federal court in Los Angeles.
Three German men alleged to be administrators of the site were arrested. While a fourth man – a Brazilian who, prosecutors said. Acted as an online mediator for the website – was arrested in Brazil.
Klaus-Martin Frost, Jonathan Kalla, and Tibo Lousee are accused of running Wall Street Market for nearly three years. Providing a darknet platform for the sale of narcotics, counterfeit goods, and hacking software to 1.1 million customers.
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The Germans, known to investigators by the monikers “coder420”, “Kronos” and “TheOne”, also face charges in Germany.
“While they lurk in the deepest corners of the internet. This case shows that we can hunt down these criminals wherever they hide,”. US Attorney Nick Hanna said in a written statement announcing the charges.
Among the site’s top vendors were two people based in Los Angeles: “Ladyskywalker”, Who sold opiates such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, and “Platinum45”. Who dealt in methamphetamine, oxycodone, and a combined amphetamine prescription drug marketed as Adderall.
The people operating those accounts are also now in custody, according to the criminal complaint. Their names are not yet public.
Launched in 2016, Wall Street Market grew over the past three years to be the largest darknet site after the 2017 shutdown of the notorious AlphaBay and Hansa marketplaces.
It offered interfaces in six languages – English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish – and numerous separate categories for merchandise, including drugs, jewelry, equipment, and support for credit card fraud, software, and malware, among others. One vendor category, according to the court filings, was simply named “fraud”.
Also Like legal online marketplaces, buyers could search by product, product popularity, vendor ratings, payment type, and price. The operators allegedly received commissions of between 2% and 6% of the sales value.
The police operation started after Finnish authorities shut down the illegal Tor trade site Silkkitie (Valhalla) earlier this year, said Europol. This led some Finnish narcotics traders to move to
Wall Street Market.
In April, the WSM administrators were apparently alarmed at the sudden surge of customers. The court documents said, enacted an exit plan that involved freezing the escrow accounts and customer wallets and taking out all the virtual currency held in them at the time – estimated at $11m (£8.3m).
That spurred investigators to act, and on 23 and 24 April, they arrested the three German suspects, aged 22 to 31, in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Finally, They also seized servers, more than €550,000 (£470,000) in cash, and hundreds of bitcoin and Monero, as well as several vehicles and a gun.
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