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'Hydra Market': Germany shuts down darknet platform used for drugs sales

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
'Hydra Market' had been active on the darknet since at least 2015.
'Hydra Market' had been active on the darknet since at least 2015.   -   Copyright  Pixabay   -  

German investigators say they have shut down a Russian-language darknet marketplace that specialised in drug dealing.

Prosecutors in Frankfurt described the "Hydra Market" platform as the world's largest illegal marketplace.

They said they seized its server infrastructure in Germany as well as bitcoin cryptocurrencies worth €23 million.

The operation was the result of international investigations since August 2021, prosecutors said.

"Hydra Market" -- active since at least 2015 -- was used to sell illegal drugs, forged documents, intercepted data and "digital services".

Its sales were reportedly at least €1.23 billion in 2020, making it "the illegal market with the highest turnover in the world", according to prosecutors.

German authorities said that the platform had about 17 million registered customer accounts and more than 19,000 registered sellers.

In 2021, officials shut down the "DarkMarket" platform that had been used to buy or sell drugs and weapons.