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Student Suspected of Running Germany’s Largest Dark Web Market DiDW

The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (BKA) arrested a student in Bavaria on suspicion of his involvement in running one of the country’s largest dark web marketplaces, ‘Deutschland im Deep Web’ (DiDW).

Arrest Details

In its press release, BKA confirmed arresting a 22-year-old student on the suspicion that he was the administrator of a dark web marketplace DiDW. The marketplace went offline in March 2022.

This platform served as one of the main facilitators of drug trafficking in the underground cybercrime world. The arrest took place on October 25th. The police searched two residential properties with a ZCB public prosecutor and seized several items containing evidence. This includes data carriers, computers, and mobile phones.

“The measures carried out were preceded by months of undercover and technically demanding investigations in order to be able to identify and finally arrest the suspects who were acting anonymously on the dark web,” the agency noted.

Student Suspected of Running Germany's Largest Dark Web Market DiDW

The arrested individual is said to be administering the marketplace since November 2018. He is accused of operating a criminal trading forum, which as per Section 127 of the Criminal Code, involves a sentence of 1 to 10 years. Reportedly, the site used an escrow system to make payments and ensure its members were protected from fraudulent listings.

About DiDW

The original market was launched in 2013 to discuss IT security and anonymization. The platform reached the peak of its popularity in 2017. At the time of its closure, the platform boasted 16,000 registered users, 72 high-volume sellers of illegal goods such as drugs and weapons, and 28,000 posts. The suspect will face criminal charges and up to ten years in jail for operating the illicit trading platform.

It received six million monthly hits. It is worth noting that the person responsible for the shooting spree in Munich purchased the weapon and ammunition from the platform. This led to the closure of the marketplace in 2017. The site’s operator was also arrested and sentenced to 7 years in 2018.

Since then, numerous versions of the marketplace have originated under the name “Deutschland im Deep Web.” The platform dealt with illegal drug trading with the motto “No control, everything allowed.” the second version of the market shut down in 2019 without any interference from law enforcement authorities. A third version emerged around ten days later.

The recent arrest was related to the person operating the third version of the platform. It took federal authorities five years to identify the alleged administrator of DiDW’s third version.

Author

I am a UK-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering the latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. I am also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism

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