Germany charges Aussie duo over DarkMarket

·1-min read

An Australian couple has been charged by prosecutors in Germany following the closure of one of the world's largest illegal marketplaces on the Darknet in January 2021.

They allegedly operated the DarkMarket platform with about half a million users and more than 2400 sellers, the Rhineland-Palatinate State Cybercrime Unit of the Koblenz Prosecutor General's Office announced on Tuesday.

"Illegal drugs of all kinds, counterfeit money, stolen or forged credit cards, malware and many other illegal goods were traded on 'DarkMarket'," the prosecutors said.

At least 320,000 transactions for a total of more than 140 million euros ($A221 million) with first 4 and then 5 per cent commission had been transacted.

Some of the payments were made with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

The investigation was conducted by the Oldenburg Central Criminal Investigation Department.

According to the statement, it is alleged that a 34-year-old Australian man was the administrator of the marketplace, who activated the sellers and supervised and paid several as yet unidentified accomplices.

His 32-year-old wife is said to have been responsible for the design of DarkMarket and the mediation of disputes between sellers and customers.

Both still live in Australia, according to Attorney General Juergen Brauer, but had been "on a long-term tour of Europe" with a school-age child.

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