Italian police announced the closure of the second largest market The Berlusconi Market and the arrest of 3 suspects accused of creating it.
Il Nucleo Speciale Tutela Privacy e Frodi Tecnologiche (special unit for privacy protection and technological fraud) was responsible for closing the Berlusconi market, which was considered “the most reliable illegal resource of the dark web”.
At the time of capture of the market Berlusconi had more than 120 thousand advertisements about illegal production. According to Guardia di Finanza (Italian police), it was “the most important dark web market”. About 70,000 names were based on drugs, including but not limited to psychedelics, cannabis, opioids, steroids, cocaine and heroin. All are carefully divided into appropriate categories for easy access. It was one of the few markets that allowed guns to be sold and had more than 5K listings for all weapons and ammunition. The site also had lists of fake national and foreign identity documents, police said.
The operation was called Darknet.The drugs began in early April, leading to the arrest of a prolific drug dealer named ” G00d00.” During a RAID on the g00d00 safe house, located in Barletta, Italy, police found a huge cache of drugs consisting of cocaine, ketamine and MDMA, which weighed more than 2.2 kilograms.
The arrest of G00d00 was a breakthrough for police because he admitted to being part of Berlusconi’s market administration. He also had access to the market’s private keys, which were changed after the soadmins learned that he had been arrested by Italian police.
Police seized laptops and smartphones during their RAID on the g00d00 home and used forensic analysis of bitcoin transactions and the messaging software it used to track the rest of the administrators. Police concluded that Berlusconi was run by a user named Vladimir Putin, who had the role of administrator, and Emmanuel macron was the moderator of the market.
The three accused-a 19-year-old, a 26-year-old and a 27-year-old-of running the market were arrested in a RAID in Puglia, which is in Turin, Italy.
“This is the fourth operation of its kind to make the dark web harmless, it follows the actions of the FBI and Dutch police against darknet markets such as Silk Road, Alphabay, Xansa” ” said Brescia’s chief Prosecutor Carlo Nocerino.
At the time of the takeover, Berlusconi was the 2nd largest market and was on track to become the largest darknet market. Withdrawal was not something unexpected for its users, many of the users lost their money, but they recovered quickly as it became a normal thing in the darknet ecosystem. As soon as one market collapses, many others will take its place. So the practice of taking over markets has proven to be a waste of time rather than something useful because it won’t lower the morale of darknet users, instead it will give more publicity to the darknet world and bring more users here rather than discourage them.