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Germany shuts down darknet platform specialising in drugs

BERLIN (AP) – German investigators yesterday shut down a Russian-language darknet marketplace that they said specialised in drug dealing, seizing bitcoin worth EUR23 million.

Prosecutors in Frankfurt described the ‘Hydra Market’ platform as the world’s biggest illegal darknet marketplace. They said they seized its server infrastructure in Germany.

The shutdown was the result of investigations underway since August, in which United States authorities participated.

The platform had been active at least since 2015, prosecutors said. They added that, as well as illegal drugs, forged documents, intercepted data and “digital services” were offered for sale.

They said that it had about 17 million registered customer accounts and more than 19,000 registered sellers.

Prosecutors said the platform had sales of at least EUR1.23 billion in 2020.