Seized by the BKA in May 2019: The darknet platform Wallstreet Market
In April 2019, police arrested three Germans who organised large-scale drug trafficking in the darknet market. Charges have now been filed.
The Prosecutor General's Office has brought charges against four men who allegedly operated the darknet market Wallstreet market together at the Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main. Drugs, spied data, and malware were traded on the darknet marketplace, which could only be accessed via a special browser. According to investigators, the marketplace was one of the largest darknet market for illegal goods at the time of access in April 2019.
The defendants are a 23-year-old from Kleve, a 30-year-old from the district of Esslingen and a 33-year-old from Bad Vilbel. The Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) accuses them of gang-related illicit trafficking of beta-exercise equipment in no small quantities, and two of the defendants are also facing charges of infidelity. The 33-year-old had apparently withdrawn from the business in March, while the other two transferred all the money transferred to their goods platform in April. Apparently they were going to close the marketplace and disappear with the money of the traders - about eight million euros in bitcoins. This procedure is so common among darknet market operators that even a name has been established for it: "Exit-Scam".
Bitcoins and VPN don't protect as well as expected
Investigators were already on the defendants' heels at the time. They have finally betrayed themselves through carelessness. Thus, one of the defendants apparently falsely assumed that transactions in bitcoins from the drug trades were not traceable and thus bought from a gaming platform. For the purchase he deposited his e-mail address. The other two operators were tracked down by the police via insufficiently secured VPN connections.
In its investigation, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) received help from colleagues of the American FBI as well as a Dutch special unit against darknet crime. It was this one who provided a decisive tip. They tracked down the servers of the darknet platform in the Netherlands. By monitoring the administrators of these servers, it was finally possible to locate the German operators.
Darknet market Wallstreet market recently had more than a 2 millions customers and more than 8000 sellers registered. In total, 75 kilos of cocaine, more than two tons of marijuana and hashish and more than 460,000 tablets of ecstasy were allegedly sold on the platform. Of the 36 million euros paid for this, the defendants are said to have paid commissions of two to 5.5 percent. A date for the trial has not yet been set.