The Dutch police got a hold of over ten thousand European home addresses that were used to order drugs off of the illegal dark web marketplace Hansa Market. In the near future, this information should lead to more investigations and arrests against suspects.
In the night of June 23rd, the Dutch Police’s High Tech Crime Team managed to take over the illegal marketplace and administrate it for 27 days. Tips on the site’s server and the discovery of passwords belonging to the administrators led to the ability for the police to become the owner of the hidden dark web site.
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The controversial action of the police led to much publicity. A reconstruction in the Dutch newspaper “De Volkskrant” shows that the police have indeed caught a big fish. In response to the action, the National Police has transferred tens of thousands of European addresses that have been used to order drugs through Hansa Market to Europol. The team chief of the High Tech Crime Team announces that there will be a lot of research on the basis of this data, both in own country and abroad. According to the team manager, the infiltration was “a success” and the police remained within the limits of the law. Whether this is really the case, will be decided by judges in the coming time.
At the end of July, Dutch police had arrested three 17-year-old boys from Gelderland following investigations on the dark web. A 28-year-old man from Krimpen was also arrested, suspected of trading in soft drugs and money laundering. The three minor boys have not appeared in court yet, police reported, for “research reasons”.
De Volkskrant also writes that the “Taking over” part of the website did not go smoothly. Some features of the website were not working the way they were supposed to. This led to some exciting moments for the High Tech Crime Team. Buyers and sellers of drugs, jewelry and knockoff items did not notice that the police had become the administrator of the illegal website. This enabled them to see and follow exactly who traded in what.
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