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German Police Arrests Student Operator of Dark Web, Likely to Face 10 Years

The accused, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, is charged with operating a criminal trading platform and will face up to 10 years.

Student operating biggest dark web forum arrested

A 22-year-old student, that German federal police suspect to be the leader of one of the biggest German-speaking, dark-web forums has been captured.

The accused, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, is charged with operating a criminal trading platform and will face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. 

He was caught in October when officers and federal cops from the Central Office for Cybercrime Bavaria (ZCB) inspected two homes and seized systems, smartphones, and other evidence. 

Dark web responsible for shooting rampage at Munich Mall

As per German law enforcement, the student is from Lower Bavaria, and who worked as an operator of the third variant of Deutschland "im Deep Web" since November 2018. 

The initial version's tor website surfaced on the criminal underground landscape in 2013. After three years, an 18-year-old bought a gun and 300 rounds of ammo via the illegal marketplace before killing at least 9 people in a shooting frenzy at a Munich mall. 

Police closed the operation, however, new versions appeared

German police closed down Deutschland im Deep Web in 2017 after the murderous rampage, and also captured the operator during the time, who was convicted to seven years in prison in 2018. 

After that, however, two new variants of the marketplace surfaced, selling weapons, illegal goods, and weapons, under the motto "No control, everything allowed." 

The police closed down the latest version of the dark-web souk in March 2022. During the time, it had nearly 16,000 registered users and 72 active traders, as per law enforcement. 

The site currently shows a banner that says: "The platform and the criminal content have been seized by the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Bavarian Central Office for the Prosecution of Cybercrime."

Deutschland Arrest, joint effort by federal agencies

The Deutschland im Deep Web arrest comes after another dark web shut down earlier this year through a joint effort by German federal police and US law enforcement agencies. 

In April, the two countries slayed Hydra, the longest-operating known dark-web marketplace trafficking in illicit drugs and money-laundering services. 

First, German police captured Hydra servers and cryptocurrency wallets having $25 million in Bitcoins, therefore closing down the online souk. 

Charges pressed, dark web sanctioned

Also, the US Justice Department declared criminal charges against one of the suspected Hydra leaders and system admins, 30-year-old Dmitry Olegovich Pavlov from Russia, and the US treasury Department sanctioned the dark-web atrocities. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury in its press release said:

"Russia is a haven for cybercriminals. Today’s action against Hydra and Garantex builds upon recent sanctions against virtual currency exchanges SUEX and CHATEX, both of which, like Garantex, operated out of Federation Tower in Moscow, Russia. Treasury is committed to taking action against actors that, like Hydra and Garantex, willfully disregard anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism"

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