German authorities have taken the alleged operator of underground internet marketplace DarkMarket into custody.
The investigators also deactivated the servers of the marketplace, which claimed to have over 500,000 users and 2,400 vendors among its user base.
DarkMarket processed at least 320,000 transactions, moving around 4,650 BTC and 12,800 XMR, according to a statement published today from Germany’s General Public Prosecutor Office in Koblenz. Total transaction worth is estimated to be around 140 million Euros ($170 million USD).
The suspected operator is a 34-year-old Australian citizen who was arrested near the Germany-Danish border. Authorities seized more than 20 servers from Moldova and Ukraine at the time of arrest, and they plan to use the stored data to investigate DarkMarket buyers, sellers, and moderators.
DarkMarket was primarily used as a market for narcotics, though other illegal commodities like counterfeit money, stolen credit cards, anonymous SIM cards, and malware were sold by vendors.