Germany has witnessed firsthand the repercussions of having an uncensored weapons market and now the federal police are vigilant as ever in the fight against criminals from various darknet markets.
The Munich killing spree that occurred last July 22 this year in which nine people lost their lives and several others were injured was a wake-up call for most, seeing that the 18-year-old German gunman had obtained the murder weapon (a Glock 17) from one of the darknet markets.
In an interview with the Austrian news outlet, the Kronen Zeitung, an unidentified source from the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) divulged the magnitude of operations that have been ongoing in Germany to curb crime on darknet markets.
Germany Joins Forces with Europe in the Fight against Darknet Markets
Germany’s fight against cybercrimes has been of considerable proportions given that the BKA has been involved with over 600 investigations related to the online drug trade on darknet markets.
The source revealed that all of these investigations were drug related and revolved around suspect from within Germany and outside the country as well.
Following the Munich incident, the number of weapon-related arrests has consequently increased in Germany as the BKA’s vigilance in taking down darknet markets gathers momentum.
The BKA has apparently benefited immensely from what the source called “an EU-supported project” which is focused on halting the ongoing drug trade on various darknet markets on the deep web.
BKA Shares Crime Fighting Resources with the EU
As the source revealed, Germany could not handle the war against crime on the dark web, which is why it sought to join forces with the EU in 2015 in order to access Europol’s crime-fighting resources.
Despite the magnitude of the operations, however, darknet markets seem relatively not suffering any damage, to say the least, and the illicit drugs and weapons trade are healthier than ever.
Terrorists Now Have a Notable Presence on the Dark Web
German law enforcement agencies have also noted that, worryingly, there is a significantly increased terrorist presence on the dark web.
In a statement by the BKA Chief Holger Münch a joint presentation with the Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, they highlighted the disquieting fact that organized crime groups and terrorists are appearing more despite their lack of expertise in the technicalities of accessing the dark web.
A number of cyber tools are at the disposal of the criminals and as such, it is no surprise that organized crime rates are slowly hiking despite the increased vigilance of the BKA.
Specialized German-EU Taskforce Already Making Significant Strides
A unique taskforce between the German authorities and Europol was formed out of necessity to facilitate swift operations in the war against cybercrimes.
So far, the taskforce has had a recognizable impact in the online drug war as it has succeeded in arresting 25 reputable drug traffickers from Germany.
The task force comprises of specialists who are well versed in picking out drug traffickers from the dark web using methods that are mostly aided by advanced technology.
Darknet Market Criminals Look a Desperate Bunch
In all the arrests, significant quantities of drugs and other illegal substances were seized. These include 2.7 kilograms of marijuana, 1.1 kilograms of cocaine, a whopping 58 kilograms of amphetamine and 30,335 MDMA pills.
In addition to the drugs, the BKA has also managed to seize 18 kilograms of an assortment of lethal poisons, a number of weapons, and fake currency.
Following the seizures, investigators believe that most users of darknet markets facilitating illicit activities are not as organized as earlier thought as they seem to get involved in anything and everything they can manage to get their hands on.
Law Enforcement Growing Alert to the Dark Web Criminal Presence
2016 has seen great strides by law enforcement agencies all around the world in the war against drug trade on darknet markets.
Not only are the authorities becoming more vigilant, they are also delegating more resources to specialized cybercrime task forces.
This has resulted in a large number of arrests of drug and weapon dealers alongside the perpetrators of various crimes on the dark web.
The fight doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon, but at the moment, marketplaces on the deep web are just slightly beyond the reach of the authorities.