Earlier in the month of February, Germany and Netherlands have conjointly taken part in an operation aiming to shut down an international crime ring that has been running for long on the dark web. It has been found out that the alleged crime group was involved in money laundering and drug trafficking. The conjoint operation comprised of two German agencies namely, Münster (the office of the Public Prosecutor) and the Customs’ Investigations Office. The two Netherlands-based organizations that helped the German agencies were the Fiscal Intelligence, Investigations Office, and Specialized Prosecution Office for Fraud and Environmental Crime. Europol also joined hands with the Eurojust to help in the investigations.

The investigations relating to the crime ring began in September in the year 2018 where the investigating team spilt out information related to the membership of the group that consisted of 13 members of which many were Afghan and Dutch Origin. The investigations further disclosed that the group members in the Netherlands would make envelopes and parcels sending them to Germany. After the arrival of the package, the suspects in Germany would mail them to the clients belonging to different parts of the world. Also, the crime syndicates used the route through the dark web for the trade.

A crackdown was conducted soon after the investigating authorities gathered sufficient information on the crime ring. The police seized drugs worth over €400,000 which served as the evidence to further continue the probe. The seized drugs included amphetamines, MDMA, heroin, ecstasy and cocaine. On 1st February, 2019, 10 premises were raided by the search agents that included both residential and business venues at the border of Netherlands and Germany where 1 kg of ecstasy, 40 kg of amphetamine, mobile phones, computers, documents and cash worth €10,000 was seized. The crackdown has resulted in the convicted of 12 suspects of which 4 were under European arrest warrant.

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