London, April 6
Germany has shut down the Russian illegal darknet marketplace called 'Hydra Market', confiscating 543 Bitcoins with a total value of around $25.2 million.
The authorities shut down the server infrastructure for Hydra which is a huge marketplace on Dark Web for drugs, stolen credit card information and other illegal goods.
"Among other things, there is a suspicion of the commercial operation of criminal trading platforms on the Internet, the commercial procurement or granting of an opportunity for the unauthorised purchase or the unauthorised sale of narcotics as well as commercial money laundering," said Germany's Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) and Federal Crime Police Office (BKA).
The illegal marketplace had been accessible via the Tor network since at least 2015.
"Their focus was on trading in illegal narcotics. In addition, data spied out worldwide, forged documents and digital services were offered profitably via the platform," the BKA said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Around 17 million customers and over 19,000 seller accounts were registered on the marketplace.
According to ZIT and BKA estimates, "Hydra Market" was probably the illegal marketplace with the highest turnover worldwide."
"In particular, the Bitcoin Bank Mixer, a service for obfuscating digital transactions provided by the platform, made crypto investigations extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies," said the German authorities.
Cryptocurrency investigation firm Chainanalysis recently found $200 million in stolen cryptocurrency on the platform in 2021 and early 2022.