Law Enforcement Closed the Monopoly Marketplace during the SpecTor Operation
Law enforcement officers said that the closure of the Monopoly marketplace in the dark web in 2021 was a result of the SpecTor operation. As it turned out, eventually, 288 sellers and clients of the resource around the world were arrested, and the police confiscated 50.8 million euros in cash and in cryptocurrency.Let me remind you that we also wrote that Police Shut Down One of the Largest Darknet Marketplaces, Genesis, and also that The Government of Germany Closed Hacker Hosting FlyHosting.
The media also reported that the Ukrainian cyberpolice neutralized one of the world’s largest phishing services.
The Monopoly marketplace appeared on the dark web in 2019 and at that time was used primarily to sell drugs and weapons to customers around the world, accepting payments from both BTC and Monero. When the resource unexpectedly closed in 2021, many assumed that there was an exit scam (that is, the site operators fled with the money), but others assumed that the site could have been seized by law enforcement agencies.
In the end, none of these theories received any confirmation, but now Europol has officially announced that in 2021 Monopoly was seized by German law enforcement officers, and then used to collect evidence about the activity of sellers and buyers.
It is reported that the collected data and evidence eventually “formed the basis for hundreds of investigations”, as well as the arrests that followed them. This operation, coordinated by Europol and the FBI, involved police officers from the UK, France, Poland, Germany, Austria, Brazil and Switzerland.
Most of the arrested sellers and buyers, who sold and bought tens of thousands of illegal goods, lived in the US (153 people), the UK (55 people) and Germany (52 people), as well as in the Netherlands and Austria ( 10 and 9 arrests).
As it became known now, as part of Operation SpecTor, law enforcement agencies confiscated 850 kg of narcotic substances, including cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA, LSD, ecstasy, as well as 117 firearms.