US Department of Justice agents under the guise of cryptocurrency traders arrested more than 35 criminals on the darknet, according to a press release from Department of Justice(DOJ). Officials allegedly impounded more than $23.6 millions from the goons.
The exercise included seizure of extra-constitutional assets which included Bitcoin mining devices, approximately 2000 Bitcoin and another cryptocurrency worth $20 million. The other confiscated items included fiat, gold bar, and narcotics like opioids,Xanax, media, LSD etc
The operation was being run over a year. The DOJ release states that special agents of the New York HIS division in collaboration with the Southern District US Attorney’s office participated in the crackdown posing as crypto traders who intended to launder fiat for crypto on the darknet.
The examination, which brought about 90 dynamic cases, was done in a joint effort with the U.S. Migration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Derek Benner said in the discharge that the “darknet is consistently changing and progressively more mind-boggling, making finding and focusing on those offering unlawful things on this stage more convoluted”:
“The veil has been lifted. HSI has infiltrated the darknet, and together with its law enforcement partners nationwide, it has proven, once again, that every criminal is within arm’s reach of the law.”
News outlet Motherboard refers to a criminal grumbling for Nicholas J. Powell, one of the respondents charged by the DOJ, as portraying how authorities started exploring his clients with his participation, assuming control over his online records to discover darknet sedate sellers utilizing Bitcoin.
Senior analyst at UC Berkeley’s International Computer Science Center Nicholas Weaver disclosed to Motherboard that “acting like a tax criminal for Bitcoin appears like an extraordinary component to discover the merchants: There are such a large number of ways for the darknet merchants to get drugs. There are many fewer ways for them to get money”:
“Once you have the seller it is now easy to either find the drug dealer he’s supporting […] or, as they did here, take over the seller’s identity.”
Kenneth Jenkins, Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service, said that they are “continu[ing] to adopt along with these cybercriminals to maintain our level of success in stopping them.
A day before it was informed by DOJ that they have impounded