“E-bay For Criminals”: Australian Man Arrested For Running Illegal Marketplace With Cryptos

Thursday 14 January 2021, 10:00 AM AEST - 5 days ago

German authorities recently arrested an Australian man who ran an illegal marketplace, called “The E-bay for criminals”. Apparently, the man received payments via cryptocurrencies with transactions worth 4650 Bitcoins and 12,000 Monero — the current equivalent value of $212,832,280 Australian Dollars.

The 34-year-old, identified only as Julien K, was trying to cross the Danish-German border when the Police arrived and arrested him. The Dark Market was so large and popular in the darknet that The Australian Federal Police —together with the Scotland Yard, the Europol, German authorities, and the FBI— had to join forces to reach Julian’s whereabouts.

Dark Market Landpage

The Dark Market Ran Silk Road-style

Julian ran Dark Market similarly to Silk Road, the most famous digital black market that hosted illegal products and activities founded by Ross William Ulrich. But Silk Road still has its underground users: two months ago, the U.S. Justice Department seized $1 billion in moved Silk Road crypto.

Like Silk Road, Dark Market used Bitcoin and other cryptos as a payment method.

The Dark Market also used the Tor network for its illegal activities with cryptocurrencies.

There was a similar case in Australia, where New South Wales authorities arrested a woman behind a “Bitcoin scheme”. Police arrested the 59-year old in a shopping centre in Burwood, accused of belonging to a syndicate that profited off by illegally exchanging BTC for money. The case was called “The first kind in Australia”.

Dark Market was operating since 2014, but according to the German police, the joint investigation sparked in 2019 when they found a data processing platform that hosted illegal markets. Organized criminals ran the data center in an abandoned 5,000 square meters NATO bunker.

Likewise, authorities in the German city Koblenz seized around 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine, shutting them down on Monday.

According to dark.fail, The platform was run on “Eckmar” a PHP script that kept shipping addresses encrypted:

Julian refused to speak to any investigator for now. Prosecutors are now analyzing the platform to discover all its users and proceed to a greater investigation.

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