This 26 October 2021, Europol announced that “Dark HunTOR,” a global police operation in the heart of the dark web, resulted in the arrest of 150 high-profile cybercriminals, as well as the seizure of €26.7 million in cash and cryptocurrency, 45 firearms and 234 kilograms of drugs.
To carry out this spectacular raid, Europol coordinated the actions of the American FBI, the British NCA, the Italian Guardia di Finanza, the German BKA and, in France, the gendarmes of the Digital Crime Centre (C3N), and the police officers of the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (OCLCTIC).
“Dark HunTOR” was made possible by the dismantling in January 2021 of DarkMarket—one of the largest black markets on the dark web—which had allowed Europol to identify 2,400 sellers of drugs, forged ID documents, or counterfeit money.
The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) then analysed the information collected, linking it to emails or wallet keys.
Europol was thus able to send 380 profiles of cybercriminals to the law enforcement agencies of the countries concerned, leading to the arrest of 150 of “high-value targets,” according to gendarmerie General Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, Europol’s Deputy Executive Director. “Each arrest led to searches that allowed us to seize equipment and obtain data to enrich our databases,” he said.