According to Europol, DarkMarket had about 500,000 users and over 2,400 vendors, with more than 320,000 transactions leading to the transfer of 4,650 bitcoin and 12,800 monero (€140 million). The notorious dark web marketplace mainly have vendors who trade in all kinds of drugs, stolen or counterfeit credit/debit card details, anonymous SIM cards and counterfeit money.
Europol's initiatives is to create a coordinated approach to tackle crime on the dark web, which involves law enforcement agencies from across and outside the EU and other relevant partners, such as Eurojust.
Europol-led operations against DarkMarket
The operator of DarkMarket was arrested near the German-Danish border, while investigation by the cybercrime unit of the Koblenz Public Prosecutor's Office led to the location and closure of the marketplace.
Europol's involvement included facilitating international information exchange, specialist operational support and providing of advanced analytics that assisted the German authorities to identify and track down the alleged operator of DarkMarket.
The takedown of DarkMarket also means that law enforcement will seize the criminal infrastructure, including over 20 servers in Moldova and Ukraine, used to conduct the operations.
Europol's Dark Web Commitments
In May 2019, Wall Street Market and Silkkitie also known as the Valhalla Marketplace was shut down through a Europol-led police operation. With about 1.15 million users and 5,400 vendors of drugs, malware, and other criminal goods, the Wall Street Market was a huge dark web marketplace.
But despite the clampdown, cybercriminals still find their ways to alternative services for selling their wares, including services like Elude and Sonar, private channels on Discord that facilitate such illegal transactions.