One hundred and fifty alleged drug traffickers and other darknet criminals have been arrested as part of an international crackdown on the sale of illegal opioids and other substances on the internet.
According to a report in The Washington Examiner, legal agencies from the United States, Australia, and Europe worked in tandem to put the supposed drug supplies out of business as the United States works to combat record-high overdose deaths.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and her European counterparts, and other law enforcement officials executed a plan, called Operation Dark HunTor through the DOJ’s Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement team.
The Justice Department worked with as well as Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and several other foreign law enforcement agencies according to a Tuesday announcement bu Monaco:
“We are here today to expose those who seek the shadows of the internet to peddle killer pills worldwide,” Monaco said, adding, “There is no dark internet. We can and we will shine a light.”
According to the statement from the DOJ, the operation lead to the seizure of “enough fentanyl for four million lethal doses,” among other things, including “fake pills which are often laced with fentanyl or methamphetamine.”
Monaco stated that the issue with drug-related deaths has become more extreme “since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever have turned to the DarkNet for drugs” saying it is an “ongoing opioid crisis plaguing our communities.”
The DOJ also said that Operation Dark HunTor “builds on the success of last year’s Operation DisrupTor and the coordinated law enforcement takedown earlier this year of DarkMarket, the world’s then-largest illegal marketplace on the Darknet.”
There were reportedly arrest of 150 “alleged Darknet drug traffickers and other criminals who engaged in tens of thousands of sales of illicit goods and services across Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”
According to the Examiner, the operation “resulted in the seizure of over $31.6 million in both cash and virtual currencies” as well as “more than 200,000 ecstasy, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methamphetamine pills, and counterfeit medicine.”