Unprecedented International Collaboration Shuts Down Monopoly Market, Seizing Weapons, Drugs, and Crypto

In a recent multi-jurisdictional crackdown, law enforcement authorities successfully carried out Operation SpecTor, which led to dismantling the Monopoly Market, a prominent dark web marketplace. This operation resulted in the arrest of 288 individuals and the seizure of weapons, drugs, cryptocurrency, and cash.

Europol Coordinates International Efforts to Tackle Monopoly Market

On May 3rd, Europol announced the successful completion of Operation SpecTor, a collaborative effort involving law enforcement agencies from the United States, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

This operation was designed to tackle the surge in dark web criminal activities that followed the 2021 shutdown of the Monopoly Market.

Drawing on the lessons learned from previous operations like the takedown of Hansa, Dutch authorities employed a similar strategy.

They hijacked the platform and allowed it to continue operating for several months to gather as much information as possible about the individuals involved.

Key Outcomes: Arrests, Seizures, and Further Implications

Several individuals arrested during Operation SpecTor were found to be users of other dark web marketplaces. That suggests law enforcement agencies may be planning future actions against similar platforms. In addition, the operation led to the seizure of 117 firearms, 850 kg of drugs, and 50 million euros worth of cash and cryptocurrency across all jurisdictions involved.

The majority of the arrested individuals were located in the United States (155), followed by the United Kingdom (55), and Germany (52). Additional arrests were made in the Netherlands, Austria, France, Switzerland, and Poland.

Europol’s Executive Director, Catherine de Bolle, emphasized the importance of international cooperation in combating dark web crime. She stated, 

“Our coalition of law enforcement authorities across three continents proves that we all do better when we work together. This operation sends a strong message to criminals on the dark web: international law enforcement has the means and the ability to identify and hold you accountable for your illegal activities, even on the dark web.”

Operation SpecTor: A New Benchmark in Cross-Border Collaboration

Operation SpecTor marks a significant improvement in the efficiency of cross-border collaboration. It resulted in more arrests than its predecessors, DisrupTor (179 arrests in 2020) and Dark HunTor (150 arrests in 2021). 

According to CNBC, the impressive outcomes of Operation SpecTor can be partly attributed to the recent takedowns of Genesis and Hydra Market. Those entities allegedly provided clues to the real identities of some Monopoly Market users.

Operation SpecTor is a testament to the effectiveness of international cooperation in the fight against dark web criminal activities. 

None of the information on this website is investment or financial advice. CryptoMode is not responsible for any financial losses sustained by acting on information provided on this website.

JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2012. His interest in crypto, blockchain, fintech, and finance allows him to cover a broad range of different topics.

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JP Buntinx

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