The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have raided Queensland properties following the arrest of an Australian man who is alleged to have run the world’s largest dark web marketplace.
On Thursday and Friday, AFP investigators carried out search warrants in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the ABC reports.
The warrants were in relation to the arrest of the 34 year old Australian man who a coalition of European police agencies claim is behind DarkMarket.
Users on the marketplace — which was only accessible through the use of an encrypted TOR browser — sold illegal drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, SIM cards and malware. It’s one of the many dark web marketplaces that emerged in the wake of the Silk Road.
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation claim that more than 500,000 carried out 320,000 transactions and traded $220 million through DarkMarket.
Two weeks ago, the police arrested the Australian in Germany, seized equipment and shutdown the website.
It was information about the dark web marketplace that Australian police had international authorities that brought about last week’s raid.
During the search, investigators seized a laptop, 4 mobile phones, 6 USB thumb drives and 5 hard drives, as well as SIM cards and bank cards.
The AFP Southern Commanding Acting Commander of Investigations Jayne Crossling confirmed cybercrime investigators will review the evidence and may make some arrests in Queensland.
She said it was likely that Australians who were among the users who were purchasing illegal items. They had committed a crime, Crossling said, even if they’d made the purchase online.
“There is no difference with the dark web, although the anonymising features of the dark web makes it harder for law enforcement to identify perpetrators, who commit abhorrent crimes,” she said in a statement.
“If police knew there was criminal activity occurring in geographic location, action would be taken.”