EuroPol OPperation SpecTor

Dark Web Marketplace Shut Down In Global Law Enforcement Sting

Law enforcement authorities from nine countries have conducted an operation, SpecTor, to seize the dark web marketplace “Monopoly Market” announced by Europol.

In the operation, 288 suspects involved in buying or selling drugs were arrested.

The arrests were made in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland.

Nearly $53.4 million in crypto and cash, 850 kg of drugs, and 117 firearms were confiscated in this operation.

How It Happened

To combat the crime, Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation worked closely with German authorities.

Europol gathered intelligence packages utilizing evidence provided by German authorities, which were then utilized as the foundation for numerous national investigations.

Europol facilitated the exchange of information among different law enforcement agencies, prepared target packages, and coordinated international law enforcement action.


The operation, SpecTor ended up being more successful than any previous operations in terms of arrests which had 179 and 150 arrests, but this time, a total of 288 suspects were arrested.

It included 153 from the United States, 55 from the United Kingdom, 52 from Germany, 10 from the Netherlands, 9 from Austria, 5 from France, 2 from Switzerland, and 1 each from Poland and Brazil.

The arrested sellers were also found to be active on other criminal marketplaces, hampering the trafficking of drugs and other commodities on the dark web.

Europol deemed many of these suspects to be “high-value targets.”

Apart from arrests, more than EUR 50.8 million (USD 53.4 million) worth of cash and cryptocurrencies, as well as 850 kg of various drugs and 117 firearms were captured.

Moreover, 258 kg of amphetamines, 43 kg of cocaine, 43 kg of MDMA, over 10 kg of LSD, and many ecstasy pills were there in those confiscated drugs.

EuroPol Operation SpecTor

Combatting Crimes On Dark Web

The level of collaboration between different law enforcement agencies, demonstrated in this operation, is very much essential for unveiling such organized crimes.

In simple words, it can be said that international collaboration between police authorities is key for combatting crime on the Dark Web.

As described by Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director at Europol:

By collaborating across three continents, our alliance of law enforcement authorities has shown that working together leads to better results. This operation sends a clear warning to dark web criminals that international law enforcement has the means and ability to track and prosecute them for their illicit actions, even in the hidden corners of the internet.

For more news and updates on Cybersecurity, visit The Cybersecurity Club.

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