U.S. authorities have seized the dark web marketplace AlphaBay

Justice Department announces takedown of AlphaBay, the largest dark web market

What's more, there were over 100,000 listings for stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms, and fraudulent services, the agency said.

"This is the largest dark net marketplace takedown in history", said USA attorney general Jeff Sessions, accusing online dealers of "pouring fuel on the fire of the national drug epidemic" and warning that "the dark net is not a place to hide".

"This is the largest dark net marketplace takedown in history", Sessions stated on Thursday.

Sessions added that U.S. security groups had attributed a number of drug-related deaths to substances sold via the sites. These deaths include that of 13-year-old Grant Seaver, who lived in Park City, Utah and died after overdosing on a synthetic opioid one of his classmates bought on AlphaBay, Sessions said. He accused online vendors of "pouring fuel on the fire of the national drug epidemic" and warned that "the darknet is not a place to hide".

The website made $1 billion in sales before it was shut down in a joint operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Dutch police and Europol.

AlphaBay, an online criminal marketplace operating on the dark web, has been seized, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

The takedown of Alpha Bay was enabled by the collaborative takeover of the Hansa market under Dutch judicial authority a month ago, which allowed activities to be monitored and the main Alpha Bay operators to be identified. Customers bought illegal goods using digital currencies, the U.S. said. Subsequent enquiries located the Hansa market infrastructure in the Netherlands, with follow-up investigations by the Dutch police leading to the arrest of its two administrators in Germany and the seizure of servers in the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania.

The FBI and DEA, meanwhile, say they identified a Canadian citizen who is alleged to have been the creator and administrator of AlphaBay. "We will continue to find, arrest, prosecute, convict and incarcerate criminals, drug traffickers and their enablers, wherever they are".

The US Attorney General said "crime knows no borders".

On average, 1,000 orders per day were placed in response to nearly 40,000 advertisement sand more than 50,000 transactions have been monitored since the authorities took control of the website. Once AlphaBay went down, their new listings tripled to approximately 15,000 a week.

Launched in 2014, a successor to the Silk Road which was shut down in 2013, the AlphaBay was accessible only on the dark web and accepted two forms of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin and the anonymity-oriented Monero.

"This is an outstanding success by authorities in Europe and the US", Rob Wainwright, executive director of Europol.

"There are more of these operations to come", a Europol official stated.

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.

United States attorney general Jeff Sessions said: "The dark net is not a place to hide".

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