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Zurich Police Seize Three Major Darkweb Vendor Accounts

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Zurich, a “very complex” investigation led to the seizure of three of the most popular dark web vendors in Switzerland. The investigation led to the arrest of five individuals suspected of drug trafficking. According to the announcement found on the Public Prosecutor’s Office website, the Cantonal Police of Zurich helped arrest all five suspected drug traffickers on August 6, 2018.

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, the press release explained, the Public Prosecutor’s Office could only go into so much detail before revealing information pertinent to the Investigation into the co-conspirators that may or may not in fact exist. The Zurich Public Prosecutor’s Office explained that the investigation led to the identification of “a group of offenders.” The five they reportedly arrested qualified as a group, but the announcement indicated that the police had their eyes on more than only the five suspected dealers in custody.

The operation yielded several kilograms of cocaine and a single kilogram of MDMA. Authorities reported that the vendors had been selling “kilogram amounts” of illegal substances. One of the arrested vendors—the top vendor in Switzerland—sold exclusively cocaine on the Dream marketplace.

This investigation required a close cooperation between the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Zurich, the Cantonal Police of Zurich, a special Cybercrime Division of the Cantonal Police of Zurich, and a forensics and narcotics specialist from both the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Zurich and the Cantonal Police of Zurich. The Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that the takedowns were a first for Zurich law enforcement. Unless the busts went unannounced, this operation resulted in some of the only dark web vendor busts in Switzerland to date. There are some exceptions, such as the recently arrested police officer accused of helping a German vendor sell firearms and ammunition online.

In the aforementioned case, though, German law enforcement—known worldwide for their persistence with regard to dark web gun vendors—launched the investigation. That had been investigating a dark web gun dealer in Germany who had been receiving guns and ammunition from an entity in Switzerland. The German investigators brought the information to police in Switzerland and the Swiss Police requested assistance from the German authorities. German authorities helped Swiss police narrow the list of suspects down until only one remained: the logistics chief of the cantonal police of Schwyz.

With the evidence collected by German authorities, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland charged the officer with violations of the War Material Act. Although the authorities failed to identify the source of his guns, they discovered that some of the ammunition many have come from the police department. That case is still developing, however. The most recent case, it appears, is Switzerland’s first completely in-house operation that led to the successful takedown of three dark web market accounts and five suspected dark web drug dealers.

Although the accounts never appeared in the press release, they stood out on Dream market. The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Zurich and the Cantonal Police of Zurich made statements with the seized accounts—all of which belonged to top 10 vendors in Switzerland. One of the three accounts belonged to the top seller in Switzerland, leaving several holes for the next dealer(s) to fill. The police have simply killed the competition.

The Zurich officials, not unlike moves other police forces have taken after successful dark web vendor busts, swapped the pictures on the vendors’ listings from pictures of the actual item for sale to pictures of a seizure notice. If the seizure notice failed to throw a user off and they still clicked the profile of one of the three seized accounts, they would see a message from Zurich authorities signed with the vendor’s own PGP key. A visit to the profile of any of the following vendors would reveal the message Zurich authorities have sent through the dark web market accounts: swiss-flakes, Happy-Olaf, and CH-Koks.

The message reads as follows (stripped of the signature and translated into English):

The user account [Happy-Olaf] [swiss-flakes] [CH-Koks] and all data on the account was seized on August 7, 2018, by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Zurich. Identified customers and consumers of illegal narcotics will be contacted by the Cantonal Police of Zurich.”

15 comments

  1. another douchbag vendor who kept customer data, hope they rot in prison.

    • I still don’t understand. Did these vendors give up their passwords? How can accounts nd wallets be seized?

      • Hellvetic

        They cooperated with LE by giving them those informations

        • ANONYMOUS

          Do all of them keep data? And what happens if they find someone? Especially in another country? How do you feel taking risk of vendors keeping data?

          • Some keep data, some don’t. But what if they are sloppy and forget to delete. What if they are just sloppy with other opsec protocols?

            In regards to finding people in other countries, they don’t have the jurisdiction. That is not to say they won’t pass along the information to that country’s authorities.

            @Hellvetic Thank you for clarifying that. I never seen the point of a vendor voluntarily giving them all that additional evidence. I figured LE had some other way.

            • Most people cannot be trusted

              The reason most of these vendors keep customer data, AND voluntarily hand over this customer data, is to save there own a** once they’ve been corned, by “cooperating” with LE in order to receive a “lighter punishment.” Giving hundreds of buyers is much easier for LE to have more suspects than simply one.

          • Hellvetic

            Most vendors keep them yes.

            If they get caught the risks depends on the country you live in, in Germany (Switzerland,Austria) there is the so called “Legalitätsprinzip” which forces LE to investigate each buyer. But charges can be dropped later on.

            In countries like the USA, they will focus on the large buyers essentially.

            If you live abroad, it depends where you ordered from and on your local LE.

            As a rule of thumbs, with good opsec, you can always deny any order.

  2. Evelyne Thompson

    darknet markets are flawed by design. In the long run you are fucked, either via LE or by getting fucked by shitty products.

    • Darknet Veteran Buyer

      Don’t be so negative Evelyne, most peope have positive experiences on the darknet, just stay with Escrow and the if you do some effort in checking out the reviews on the right good selling Vendor, it is hard to go wrong.
      For example Drug-Star has a wide range of high quality products, that are only in Escrow.
      He even gives reships in case somthing ends up missing.
      He has 1000s of positive feedback, just like many other good Vendors out there.
      Tip: Don’t go with the highest ranking Vendors, they tend to get sloppy or arrogant, and might selective scam, go with the mid-levels that try to get on top, they still do their best to get there!

  3. outside point of view

    does it seem like dream is run entirely by law enforcement? Eveything I read seems to point to that conclusion…. Can someone present a good argument to the contrary?

  4. I doubt most country’s are going to chase a buyer for personal amounts but if your buying lbs/kgs of schedule 1 narcs I’d be a little more worried going to get my mail.
    There’s a lot of fish to fry in the pond! They should work on the sick pedophiles that ruin innocent children’s life that had no choice in the matter! But again that’s been said a million times. I guess maybe there is way to many of the sick bastards that have a lot of money and power in this lovely great great system

  5. The reason most of these vendors keep customer data, AND voluntarily hand over this customer data, is to save there own a** once they’ve been corned, by “cooperating” with LE in order to receive a “lighter punishment.” Giving hundreds of buyers is much easier for LE to have more suspects than simply one.

  6. why the fuck would anyone want to keep documented proof of your illegal sales? surely thats just mental? once that packet has gone out id want nothing to do with it.

  7. Do not Trust People on the darknet.

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