Europol just announced a Dark Web marketplace sweep that targeted both vendors and buyers in illicit goods. Sixty cyber experts in 19 countries participated in the 2019 sweep, and investigations continue.
Here is what the law enforcement teams have hauled in, so far, by the numbers:
- 19 Dark Web vendors arrested
- 20 Dark Web buyers arrested
- Approximately $4.5 million in cryptocurrency seized
- More than $2 million in cash seized
- About $40,000 in gold seized
- 51 firearms seized
- Narcotics, counterfeit money, documents and pharmaceuticals, and child porn seized
Europol’s Executive Director, Catherine De Bolle, says this should be a warning to criminals who do their work on this part of the internet:
“The dark web is not as dark as you think. When you buy or sell illegal goods online, you are not hidden from law enforcement and you are putting yourself in danger."
Europol also launched a campaign to warn buyers of illegal goods on the Dark Web that the risk of shopping there may not be worth it because the following things can happen when you hit "buy."
- You expose your sensitive data to scammers who are only after your money and your personal details.
- You expose your device to some of the most damaging malware around.
- You may receive counterfeited products or nothing at all: drugs that could kill you, malfunctioning weapons, or cybercrime services that work against you.
Do you think a warning like this will stop people from buying illicit goods and services on the Dark Web?
Somehow, it seems unlikely.