Five arrested in Europe in black market sting (Update)

February 13, 2014 by David Rising
This photo provided by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 shows weapons and ammunition purchased by undercover police. Five men have been arrested in Germany and the Netherlands in a sting operation against a website allegedly used to sell illegal drugs and weapons, authorities said Thursday. The site brings buyers and sellers together to sell black market goods, including drugs, guns and stolen credit cards. Undercover police purchased drugs, including several thousand ecstasy pills, and weapons through the sites. (AP Photo/Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice)

Five men have been arrested in Germany and the Netherlands in a sting operation against a website allegedly used to sell illegal drugs and weapons, authorities said Thursday.

A 21-year-old German man was arrested Tuesday in Bad Nauheim, near Frankfurt, on charges of computer fraud, membership in a criminal organization and drug violations on a European warrant issued by the Netherlands. The same day, prosecutors in the Netherlands said a man from Utrecht, 29, and two men from the eastern city of Enschede, aged 30 and 31, also were arrested on similar charges.

The four are accused of helping run the illegal online Internet portal Black Market Reloaded and its successor Utopia, whose servers are in Germany, Dutch authorities said. The site brings buyers and sellers together to sell black market goods, including drugs, guns and stolen credit cards, authorities said.

Undercover police purchased drugs—including several thousand ecstasy pills—and weapons through the sites, Dutch prosecutors said.

In their searches of the suspects' homes, German and Dutch authorities seized computers, hard drives, USB sticks, as well as a virtual Bitcoin wallet with some 500,000 euros ($680,000) worth of the electronic currency.

This photo provided by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 shows a gun purchased by undercover police. Five men have been arrested in Germany and the Netherlands in a sting operation against a website allegedly used to sell illegal drugs and weapons, authorities said Thursday. The site brings buyers and sellers together to sell black market goods, including drugs, guns and stolen credit cards. Undercover police purchased drugs, including several thousand ecstasy pills, and weapons through the sites. (AP Photo/Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice)

A fifth suspect, who was already in detention in the Netherlands after being arrested last year on charges of smuggling drugs to Germany, was re-arrested on new charges of involvement with the website and for attempting to organize an assassination from behind bars.

The 46-year-old Dutchman allegedly asked undercover officers to "bring someone to the other world," Dutch prosecutors said.

"The target was to have been subjected to extortion, then killed," they said in a statement.

This photo provided by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 shows 54 red ecstasy pills purchased by undercover police. Five men have been arrested in Germany and the Netherlands in a sting operation against a website allegedly used to sell illegal drugs and weapons, authorities said Thursday. The site brings buyers and sellers together to sell black market goods, including drugs, guns and stolen credit cards. Undercover police purchased drugs, including several thousand ecstasy pills, and weapons through the sites. (AP Photo/Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice)

None of the suspects' names were released.

Explore further: Dutch close Utopia website selling guns, drugs, murder

Related Stories

November federal trial set in NY 'Silk Road' case

February 8, 2014

The Internet entrepreneur accused of being the mastermind behind an online marketplace for illegal drug sales called the Silk Road was scheduled Friday to go on trial in November.

Alleged Silk Road mastermind indicted in NY

February 4, 2014

A San Francisco man has been indicted on charges he was the mastermind behind a secret website that brokered more than $1 billion in transactions for illegal drugs and services.

Recommended for you

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

August 16, 2017

Standing in a warehouse in a Moscow suburb, Dmitry Marinichev tries to speak over the deafening hum of hundreds of computers stacked on shelves hard at work mining for crypto money.

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material

August 15, 2017

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today's ...

Signs of distracted driving—pounding heart, sweaty nose

August 15, 2017

Distracted driving—texting or absent-mindedness—claims thousands of lives a year. Researchers from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute have produced an extensive dataset examining how ...

De-jargonizing program helps decode science speak

August 11, 2017

Science is fascinating to many, but sentences that are full of expert-level terms and description can scare away even the most passionate readers. Can scientists learn to talk about their research without using too many technical ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.