In a press conference at the Justice Department's Washington headquarters, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described the strike against AlphaBay, the largest dark web drug market now in operation, as a major success in the Trump administration's effort to curb the explosive use of opioid drugs in the United States.
At a Thursday news conference, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Europol announced that they've jointly seized the world's two biggest darknet - or dark web - marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, which were collectively responsible for more than 10 times the volume of sales as the notorius Silk Road marketplace.
"This case, pursued by dedicated agents and prosecutors, says you are not safe, you can not hide". "You can not hide. We will find you, dismantle your organization and network and we will prosecute you".
The takedown was part of a larger global effort to take down dark web sites, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at the news conference. He confirmed that the site's administrators were arrested as part of the takedown, who attempted to use "anonymizing techniques" to try and hide their identities and locations, and revealing that required additional assistance from other law enforcement agencies.
The websites were only accessible through the dark web, or a tiny fraction of the internet that can only be accessed using special software, such as the Tor browser.
Prior to its takedown, AlphaBay reached over 200 000 users and 40 000 vendors.
"Hundreds of sites on the network still enable a vast amount of criminal activity. There are more of these operations to come", he added.
In Asia-Pacific countries, many are concerned about North Korea's nuclear program
It has been reported that the U.S. has proposed a new draft UNSC resolution for further sanctions on North Korea to China. North Korea's biggest need is to pay for fuel, since the country doesn't come close to producing enough oil.
Researchers based their report on investigations into 18 websites that operate on the dark web, the portion of the web not indexed by search engines and meant to be accessed with specialized software that makes it hard to identify their operators and visitors.
On Thursday officials from multiple countries revealed their role in the strike, and permanently shut down Hansa Market.
Speaking at a news conference in Washington DC, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: "This is the kind of activities and investigative work we must do in this day and age because crime knows no borders". "What we have seen in the past is that people move around". "There is always a new player waiting in the wings ready to fill those shoes".
Of course, when it came times to take questions from the press, all the questions were about the comments by President Trump to the New York Times in which he said he wouldn't have tapped Sessions for his role if Trump knew Sessions would recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.
AlphaBay has been offline since early July, fuelling suspicions among users that a law enforcement crackdown had taken place.
The US and European police announced earlier today that AlphaBay and Hansa, the two massive dark net marketplaces, are closed for business. "In fact they flocked to Hansa in their droves, with an eight-fold increase in the number of new members of Hansa recorded immediately following the shutdown of AlphaBay".
Now it has been confirmed by Europol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the United States and the Netherlands police that Hansa has also been deactivated.
But the operation, carried out in cooperation between American and European law enforcement agencies, is unlikely to kill off the online drug market.
Bitcoin is also adopted by online hackers in ransomware attacks. Once the administrators were arrested, the servers and infrastructure were sequestered and transferred to Dutch servers, allowing the police and public prosecution department to monitor all trades.