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Europol shuts down the global black market for drugs on the dark web.

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Europol announced Tuesday that security forces in nine countries have shut down an online dark drug market, seizing more than $53 million in cash and virtual currencies from 288 suspects.

The Hague-based EU law enforcement agency said an additional 850 kilograms of drugs and 117 firearms had been seized.

“The seized drugs include more than 258 kilograms of amphetamines, 43 kilograms of cocaine, 43 kilograms of MDMA, more than 10 kilograms of LSD and ecstasy,” the source said.

The operation, codenamed SpecTor, consists of separate complementary procedures in Austria, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, the United States and Switzerland.

Europol reported that “Europol was collecting intelligence packages based on buried evidence provided by the German authorities, who successfully seized the criminal infrastructure of the market in December 2021.”

It said investigations to determine the identity of others behind the dark web accounts are still ongoing. Europol’s sources added that because law enforcement had gained access to the lists of buyers, “thousands of customers worldwide are now at risk of prosecution as well.”

Europol’s chief executive Catherine de Paul said the operation demonstrated the effectiveness of cooperation and showed criminals that they could be identified “even on the dark web”.

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