Around the same time a suspected operator of a darknet market was formally charged in the US, a new DNM-related arrest took place in Germany, on Oct. 25th. An unnamed 22-year-old student from Lower Bavaria, suspected of being the operator of a market known as “Germany on the Deep Web,” was brought into custody as the result of a years-long investigation in the country.
Germany on the Deep Web was up and running over the Tor network as early as 2013, first coming to prominence in 2016 after it was discovered that the perpetrator of a mass shooting in Munich had used the market to purchase ammunition. By 2018, the site had grown big enough to warrant a split, forming the creation of a new, drug-focused darknet market, which was administrated by the recently-arrested suspect, who is thought to have operated it under that role since Nov. 2018.
Takedown notice currently displayed on the “Germany on the Deep Web” Tor site.
The suspected operator of had been arrested and convicted in 2019 on charges of hacking into a computer network belonging to the university at which he attended, although the connection to his admin duties at Germany on the Deep Web was not discovered at the time.
The market, which had about 16,000 registered and 72 active traders, has been offline since Mar. of this year, and was considered to be one of the largest German-language darknet markets.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Central Office for Cybercrime Bavaria, who seized computers, external hard drives and mobile phones belonging to suspect during the arrest. The suspected admin is being hit with charges related to operating a criminal trading platform on the internet. If convicted, he faces a prison sentence of one to ten years.