The darkweb news site DeepDotWeb, the primary source of darkweb market related news, was seized by several law enforcement agencies on April 7, 2019. Law enforcement in Israel, Brazil, France, Germany, and the Netherlands participated in the investigation and arrested a number of suspects.
The administrator of DeepDotWeb and several of his co-conspirators have been arrested arrested for violating United States money laundering and other monetary asset laws concerning the profit made the referral links on DeepDotWeb.com. On April 7, 2019, DeepDotWeb users noticed a seizure banner had replaced the DeepDotWeb hidden service’s homepage. Hours later, the surface web version of the site displayed the same seizure banner.
“THIS SITE HAS BEEN SEIZED as part of an FBI operation concerning the violation of 18 USC 1956(h) and in coordination with European law enforcement agencies acting through Europol in accordance with the law of European member states.”
Arrests were made in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Israel. Although the primary administrator of DeepDotWeb formerly lived in Israel, he now resides in Brazil where certain laws prevent the United States from forcing his extradition. The co-conspirators in other countries, such as a 35-year-old resident of Tel Aviv, Israel, and a 34-year-old resident of Ashdod, Isrrael, face extradition to the United States for charges under 18 U.S.C. § 1956.
Archived Version of the Seizure Banner: DeepDotWeb
In recent months, a covert cross-border investigation was conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the cyber unit of the Tel Aviv Central Unit. Last night, the investigation was made public with the arrest of a number of suspects in several countries, including Israel, France, Germany, Holland and Brazil.
The investigation revealed that the suspects operated a website that contained references to illegal sales sites in a dark network where weapons, drugs, abductions, stolen credit cards, and more can be purchased. The suspects used the “affiliate marketing” method through which they profited from every sale made, thus earning millions of dollars. Payment for the completed transactions was transferred to the suspects via digital currency “Bitcoin”.
The Dark Network is a network that allows anonymous surfing, which attracts illegal activity such as drug trafficking, obscene materials, weapons and the hiring of criminal services.
Last night, as the investigation went into the open stage, investigators and police detectives raided them with search warrants and arrests on suspects’ homes. The suspects (35, Tel Aviv, 34, Ashdod) were arrested and brought for interrogation in the cyber unit in the Tel Aviv District. The two were remanded for six days today at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.
The Israel Police will continue to investigate and expose criminal offenses and to seek and reach any place where there is suspicion of criminal activity that harms normative civilians.
The Federal Police and the FBI, acting in international cooperation, launched last Monday (6/5) joint actions in the fight against Internet crime and Dark Web.
The main target of the operation is an Israeli citizen, who resides in Brasília / DF, responsible for administering a website on the Dark Web used for the practice of online crimes, such as drug and arms trafficking, smuggling and money laundering.
In simultaneous actions, while the investigated was arrested at the Charles de Gaulle Airport - Paris / France, searches were carried out at his home in the South Lake, prime area of Brasilia. In the search were seized devices used to guard crypto-coins and R $ 200,000 in cash (foreign currency and reais).
The Israeli also ran a web site that served as an index of Dark Web’s main illegal markets and was used to educate users on how to safely buy products and drugs online by offering not only the addresses but also a number of tutorials for consumers to browse anonymously, avoiding police repression.
The Internet portal worked in partnership with the largest clandestine markets in Dark Web and the resident of Brasilia was paid for every transaction carried out through the site, such as the distribution of drugs, illegal drugs, hacker tools, bank details and so on.
Investigations have found that the Israeli has received transaction fees of about 15,000 users, who traded the most various illegal products, that is, obtained a share of the proceeds from illegal product transactions.
The prisoner is also suspected of committing the crime of child pornography and was the subject of a search and seizure warrant to investigate such an offense in October 2018. On that occasion, the Federal Police seized R $ 1 million in cash (foreign currency and reais) his residence in Brasilia, as well as notebooks and smartphones.
The joint action also seized the internet domain used in criminal practices, an important repressive action against clandestine markets operating on Dark Web.