Feds dig up local digital dirt after DarkMarket takedown

Feds dig up local digital dirt after DarkMarket takedown

The AFP seized a laptop, four mobile phones, six USB thumb drives and five hard drives, along with SIM cards and bank cards.



Credit: Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has seized a trove of digital devices after carrying out a series of search warrants in Queensland relating to the shutdown of DarkMarket, claimed to be the world’s largest illegal marketplace on the dark web.

The AFP said it seized a laptop, four mobile phones, six USB thumb drives and five hard drives, along with SIM cards and bank cards during search warrants that were executed in Park Ridge, Mount Cotton and at a commercial facility in Molendinar.

More arrests could follow as a result of the search warrants it has already carried out, the AFP indicated, with cybercrime operations and digital forensic teams reviewing the seized evidence.

The local raids came almost exactly a week after German police arrested a 34-year-old Australian national accused of operating the DarkMarket marketplace, which it said was used for selling drugs, counterfeit cash, stolen credit card data, anonymous SIM cards and malware.  

The Australian man, who was arrested near the border of Germany and Denmark on 11 January, is accused of being an administrator of DarkMarket.

Officers shut down DarkMarket’s servers and criminal infrastructure, which were operating in Germany.

The AFP-led cybercrime Operation Futurist was sparked after information was provided by the German State Criminal Police Office.

According to the AFP, DarkMarket had almost 500,000 users, more than 2400 sellers and more than 320,000 transactions.  

Almost $220 million in cryptocurrency was traded on the site, the AFP said.

According to AFP Southern Command acting commander investigations Jayne Crossling, it was likely Australian criminals were purchasing illicit items from DarkMarket.

“Some of these items could have been used or acquired by Australians in Australia. The job of the AFP and its partner agencies is to keep Australians safe,’’ acting commander Crossling said.

“If police knew there was criminal activity occurring in geographic location, action would be taken. There is no difference with the dark web, although the anonymising features of the dark web makes it harder for law enforcement to identify perpetrators, who commit abhorrent crimes.”

“The AFP works very effectively with law enforcement globally to combine tools and expertise to reduce the risk of harm to the community. Despite that, too many crimes are being facilitated on the dark web,” she added.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags dark webAFP



Join key decision-makers within Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) that have the power to affect real change and drive sustainable practices. SustainTech will bridge the gap between ambition and tangible action, promoting strategies that attendees can use in their day-to-day operations within their business.

EDGE 2023

EDGE is the leading technology conference for business leaders in Australia and New Zealand, built on the foundations of collaboration, education and advancement.


ARN has celebrated gender diversity and recognised female excellence across the Australian tech channel since first launching WIICTA in 2012, acknowledging the achievements of a talented group of female front runners who have become influential figures across the local industry.

ARN Innovation Awards 2023

Innovation Awards is the market-leading awards program for celebrating ecosystem innovation and excellence across the technology sector in Australia.

Show Comments